Housekeeping day

It has been windy and threatening all day; sometimes I had trouble walking with the wind. It was supposed to rain but that never happened. Maybe tonight. I took my time getting out, finally going and getting some breakfast and walking around the hotel area. There are at least three shops selling beads and I found one place that purports to sell ivory. I thought that was banned. Or is that another whale area where Japan defies the world.

I used the day to do several things that needed to be done, like laundry. I could have gone for another couple of days but this was a good opportunity. I also needed to get reserved seat tickets for the train trips I will be taking. With the help of a website I wrote out all of the details–date, time, to, from and train name and numbers for the first four trips. I took all this written data, including asking for window seats, to the train travel center and painlessly got my tickets. I didn’t have to understand the ticket agent and he didn’t have to understand me or the English language. I will have to do this for four more trips, but I need more information about getting from Hiroshima to Matsuyama. Hyperdia evidently doesn’t deal with boat trips and that’s what is needed going from the island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku. I’ll stop at another tourist info center or maybe I can research it on line.

I am finding it very hard to be without my phone–not for calls–I’m not a big talker–but for information. My addiction is almost as bad as my addiction to food. So I keep looking for places I can use the phone. I am even willing to pay, but I think I’ll just have to get over it. Yesterday, at the tourist info center they told me I could use wi-fi in the train stations but I had to go and register. That was another place I went today. The train stations are massive and have all sorts of things in them: shops, restaurants, even art galleries. It sounded like a good deal. Well, it’s only good if you are in a hot spot; like in the tourist info center. I registered but I don’t think it will do me much good.

Finally, I walked over to the Ozu Washi Paper Store, a maker of hand made papers. It was nice, but I’ve seen nicer. Just as well. If they had something I wanted I would have had to return the day before I was leaving Japan. But there is a good paper store in Kyoto. That will be much more convenient.

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