Jodie and I decided to do our own things today. While she went off exploring I washed and dried my clothes. Its starting to get cold here, so not a good idea to run out of clothes. Towels are not an acceptable item of clothing. Luckily the Ryokan had washers and dryers so wasn’t a big deal. While that was happening I did some internet surfing and mapped out a path of train stations to get me from our accomodation to the ‘electric city’ Akihabara.
I walked the few minutes to our local train station, Chidoricho, on the Ikegami train line. Bought the cheapest train pass available and then jumped on the right platform. I knew the name of the next station so I used that to work out which platform to get on. 11 stops later I got off at Gotanda station, which happened to be the end of the line. I put my train pass into the wonderful yellow ticket adjustment machine and it told me how much extra I had to pay. I took my new ticket and went to the gate to exit. Except the gates swung out and blocked my way and the gate beeped at me. Not a good beep. Bugger I’d done something wrong. I realised I’d try to go ‘into’ the JR train line (another company) instead of exiting the Tokyo Corp line instead. Walked 5m to the correct gate and walked out. Found the ticket booths for the JR train line and got a ticket and entered that part of the station. Then found the Yamanote Line and the right platform that would take me to Akihabara. That was another 9 stops. All up the trip took about an hour.
Walked around the Akihabara area looking at electronic stores (the area is famous for them). There were many backstreets with lots of electronic components for sale. I had no idea what most of them were, but if you were so inclined on building your own stuff it was a goldmine. I stopped at the McDonalds store for lunch and pointed my way through ordering a meal.
After lunch I got pricing a new Sanyo Xacti waterproof digital (movie) camera. Almost considered getting the local version as it was 100 dollars cheaper, but didn’t have any english menus. But decided I wanted the english so bought the international version.
Walked back to the train station and caught the train back to Gotanda. Got a bit lost there as I couldn’t find the correct line to transfer too. Luckily Jodie and I had been there last night so I sort of remembered where to go and eventually found it. Caught the train back the final 11 stops and made it back to the accomodation. See after only a few days with a guide you too can catch trains to places. And I’m worst person when it comes to directions. So if I can do it I’m sure others can much more easily.
In the evening Jodie and I caught the train back to Gotanda and walked around for a while before having dinner at Dennys. Jodie got a coffe at a StarBucks afterwards and we made our way back home. The weather tonight was cold again. I think winter is definitely coming to Japan.