First stop: Nagoya to visit an old college friend of ours.
Before getting on the train to Nagoya, a Linkin Park concert was going on in Osaka. I had gotten my bf tickets as a birthday present for him, but think I ended up having a better time, haha! We had been able to acquire these tickets in a very serendipitous manner, so we were absolutely stoked to be seeing our favorite band in our favorite place in the world. We arrived at the venue when we were supposed to, but were surprised to find huge lines in every direction. A friend of ours from Tamba had arrived before us but was equally as confused. Apparently there was a letter and a number on our tickets that would correspond to the line we were suppose to get in. Our friend was already in a random line, so when we did figure out what line we were suppose to be in, it had gotten even longer than ours! We looked at each other and the decision was unanimous - we had to play the baka gaijin card. This card should not be abused, but since Baka gaijin means 'stupid foreigner' it usually aids in the plight of a foreigners who are still trying to figure how things work in Japan. So when you make these kind of obvious mistakes, Japanese people assume you didn't know any better and let whatever indiscretion slide. We waited and were ushered slowly towards the front until it came time to rip the tickets aaaand success!! We got in ahead of easily about 600 other people who were in our proper line. Phew!
|Lead singer, Chester Bennington doing his thing.|
We arrived in Nagoya and noticed we had inadvertently booked a hotel in the red-light district. Lots of host club guys were hanging around and posters displaying the faces of heavily made-up girls were in the windows. Unfazed, we headed up to our hotel, desperate to take a shower. What did faze us though was how hard the bed in this place was. No spring board, just a box. And this hotel wasn't cheap either. What the?
|Softest fur ever!|
|Nagoya 'lovers' Tower|
|Hugging in every way?|
|The castle, and its golden dragons|
We were starved soon after so we took a subway towards a street mall that promised food and fun. The food turned out to be an authentic Italian style pizza joint with some scrumptious coal-fired pizza. The fun came in the form of purikura which we nearly had to drag our friend to do. Purikura are sticker pictures that you can decorate to no end. These are popular with kids who are still in primary school but our friend didn't like them even back then. I however love them. The possibilities are endless when doing purikura and it's such a great way to make a life-long memory in a small way. These machines are usually located in an arcade so on the way out I passed a UFO machine that caught my eye. It was full of Hello Kittys in witch costumes holding a pumpkin. I was sold. I kind of suck at these machines so a little known fact to foreigners is that you can ask the attendants for 'tips' which essentially means they'll put the prize in a more accessible place. Even after all of that though, it still took me four tries to get my Kitty-chan prize. Totally worth it.
We had passed a temple on the way to the street mall, so we went back and just sat on the steps and talked. The temple was lit up rather nicely at night, making for a fond final memory of our time in Nagoya. It was my best weekend in Japan thus far.