Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Tigers, Mermaids and Uno

What a totally kickin' day it was. The "Girls From Sony" and I had a day out. We started at the Hamamatsu Zoo. I was pretty sure I would hate it. It's smaller than the Toyohashi Zoo and I knew that it would be worse. Well, I was wrong. For the most part the environments for the animals were more spacious and more mentally stimulating and there were very few animals without company. I still think the zoo needs to have a specialist to provide more mental stimulation, as there were still animals showing pacing and other unhealthy behaviors. But I tried to just enjoy, and not be a downer. But, boy, was it cold. I dressed appropriately, being terrified of being cold. But the others hadn't even brought gloves. Half way through the zoo we were delighted to find a little place selling hot chocolate. That was, bar none, the worst cocoa I have ever had. It took a while, but eventually one girl said it was not good. The other said it was "really not good" and the last said it was "terrible". After we had had our fill of running from one exhibit to the other to keep warm we headed for lunch. We went to this adorable little soba restaurant. I ordered yam soba. And of course they were out of it. This is a common occurance, as have a hereditary jinx. So I had the plain soba, which was pretty plain. Then we went to Kanzanji to one of the hotels to go to the onsen. It was a really nice way to warm up after the morning's expedition. Sorry, no pics of us bathing beauties lounging around in the hot pools. I haven't really found the appeal of an onsen (natural hot springs public bath) over a sento (mechanically heated water public bath). So far the onsens I have visited have not been nearly as nice as the sentos, and always more expensive. After drying off and getting our feet massaged by a strange little appliance we headed back to Hamamatsu, trying to find a place to eat cake. Finally we decided to try out this new place near my apartment that advertised itself as "Flowers and Cafe", not knowing if they even had cake. Turned out to be great. A little place with mis-matched cozy furniture, good food and good music. And they had a deck of Uno cards, which we instantly took advantage of. So we ate cake, drank coffee and battled for supremacy. Afterwards I was able to walk home after stopping at the market for some inari for my dinner. We have plans to go bowling, play poker, go hiking and visit a couple of different cities. Hope it happens.


At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed it. Cute hat. Mum

At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

Hi, my name is Emily, and I really enjoy your Japan journal. I'm really obsessed with Japan and want to go there, and stumbled upon your blog. I love the pics too. I'm studying Japanese and hope to go there someday. Keep writing and I'll keep reading! "Gambatte" with everything. Thanks, Emily from Chicago


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