Thursday 2nd August 2012
Weather: Hooot … though not as hot as yesterday.
MP3 track of the day: It's getting hot in here -Nelly
Due to staying up late last night – watching the Olympics – I didn't roll out of bed until the late morning hours. As I didn't have a great deal planned for today, I decided to head back to the train station, purchase some postcards, write said postcards and have some lunch. Totting up the time in my head, I thought that this couldn't take more than a couple of hours.
Well, three and a half hours later and I found myself leaving the post office having just sent my postcards on their way. Why did it take so long? Well it would appear that postcards aren't a top priority when it comes to a Japanese holiday gift (and with email, I can kind of see why). If I wanted to post a box of Japanese cakes then no problem; as I searched all the shops I could find, I was inundated with cakes of all shapes, sizes and prices. Postcards … none. Well that's not entirely true; I did find some postcards with dogs and cats on (but of course; sending a postcard with a dog on it really shows where I've been) but none of Akita or the festival. It was only when I returned to the Atorion (the building with a 12th floor observatory, which was closed) did I find a souvenir shop in the basement. Not only did I purchase said postcards but I also bought myself a figurine (of some Akita god) to use as my 'center piece' for my table at home.
Once done I was starving; back to the train station I went where I bought lunch for £3.50. After that I headed to a fancy ice cream parlor, for an ice cream that cost £4.50 (go figure). The ice cream was fantastic and, after I'd consumed it, I wrote my cards before heading to the post office.
Once out of the post office I realised that the day was hot, but not as hot as yesterday. I therefore went for a walk around where my hotel was situated. My hotel is situated across the river, west of the city center. If we were to say that the city center was Kakunodate's samurai quarter, then this was definitely it's merchant area. Very narrow streets with cramped buildings, offering a lot of shade, we erected as far as the eye could see. It also appeared that I was in Akita's party area as there were a lot of bars and clubs, and all were shut. I walked around for a while before returning to my hotel to relieve myself of my camera. I then nipped back to the train station – as I had a craving for the mango smoothie I had yesterday – before returning to my hotel once more. The time; 3pm.
I finally left my hotel at around 5pm. For me this is the perfect time of the day; the sun doesn't set for another two hours and yet, it's power has been reduced dramatically. As my final act I ventured to the city park, my favorite place within Akita, for another stroll before heading to the same Japanese restaurant I had tea in last night. For tonight I chose a different meal from yesterday; it was still udon noodles, but they were coated in a strong pepper making them a little hot. The meal again was cheap and filling however, as I returned to my hotel, I picked up a small bar of chocolate as I fancied something sweet.
Tomorrow I plan to get up early. Firstly I want to be driving before my car is turned into a sauna and secondly I want to get out of Akita before rush hour. I need to fill up with fuel – and get some breakfast – but after that I will be on my way north. I hope it's cooler!
P.S. On my way into, and out of town I have to go through a small shopping center. It plays the most random music I've ever heard. When I first went through the sliding doors Darth Vader's theme tune was blaring out. Tonight, Mary Poppings was on full blast … very odd.