☆ i heart japan,  ☆ life

Living Tall in Japan, part 15

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

It just so happened that three weeks into my stay in Japan, I had my second train disaster. Maybe mishap is more like it?

What happened? Well, work had steadily progressed to a state where I was dreading going to work every day. Only two weeks, and I was already one of the people who wait with baited breath for the weekend. The high points in my life were Eda and Nicole, the only two friends that I had so far in this foreign land, and on this particular day, October 3rd, I had had a great time hanging out with Eda near her apartment. She took me to my very first Okonomiyaki (yuuuum!) restaurant, it was just a wonderful day… except for one thing!

I didn’t really want to leave, and so I stayed late. Then, I got on the wrong train. Maybe this was a forewarning of the journey ahead of me. Luckily, though, I ended up in Shinjuku anyways, where I needed to make my first of two train transfers to get home. This was before smartphones, before my phone could get on the internet and tell me what the ideal was home was. I had to guess based on my train map.

It was a bit complicated using this baby.

So, I arrived in Shinjuku safely and made it to the Odakyuu line plaform. There weren’t any express trains, though, and because it was after midnight, the local trains were very spaced out. I waited and waited, and made it onto a packed Odakyuu local train, and just after one in the morning, I arrived at Noborito, my last transfer station. I was only two stations down the Nanbu line from there, but there was one big problem.

The Nanbu line had stopped running for the night.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! If it was now, I would catch a cab or check google maps on my iPhone and walk home without much problem. But back then, I couldn’t speak Japanese so a taxi was out of the question. So, then….. what to do? I did the only thing left to me, and started following the train tracks home.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, since most of the time, the train tracks aren’t visible from the road, so I had to guess where they were, sidetrack, and keep as close as possible. After 45 minutes of being lost in the dark, I finally made it home! I’d conquered being lost in Japan! \(^o^)/

Of course that didn’t deter me from promptly getting lost the next time that I went out. Maybe, just maybe, why I should really read travel guides before I go to a new place. because I headed off to Akihabara, where I was determined to see the wonderful mecca of electronics that it was famous for (at the time, Aki wasn’t as much an anime paradise, and not really family-friendly. This was 2004, after all!). Akihabara was so famous for electronics, that surely I wouldn’t have a problem finding any. I’d walk right out and there they’d be!

Ah, but, you see… no. Well, not back then. Nowadays, it’s a more family-friendly, all-ages otaku-fest, but back then, most of the electronics were on one side of the station. I went out the other side. And hours later, I managed to find one building with electronics. Elated, I went up the escalators…

And  up…

And, oh my. Suddenly I was surrounded with vaguely porny-looking posters and a lot of guys. Uhh… I’ll just go up another floor. It got progressively more pornographic as I went up, but the only way to get to the down-escalators was to walk across the store to the opposite side! Ahhhhh, I was soooo, so embarrassed! As much as I like pretty girls, and sexy scenes, anime porn (and this is porn, no mistakes) does not do it for me. It’s enough to send me running, cheeks red, for the other room.

At least, after finding a printer/scanner on my way out and buying it, I made it home without messing up the trains and without getting lost! To cap off the night, I had an earthquake while laying on my futon watching TV, my first earthquake in Japan. At least the day was interesting, if nothing else!

The store that I ended up going into.

This was also my first experience seeing an anime advertised on the side of a truck! I miss that now. ;_;

Things had been looking up, but like all good things, they must eventually come to an end.
In all due time, that is! For now, this is To Be Continued! (^.~)

(500 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • zoomingjapan

    I remember being lost in Akihabara once.
    Well, not really. I just was in a hurry and needed to rush back to the station, but couldn’t find it immediately, so I asked around.
    Found it quickly.
    That was before I moved to Japan, though. ^^;

    My sense of orientation sucks, but I’m never afraid of asking people. And usually it helps a lot. 😀

    Akihabara … ahh, the memories! 🙂

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Hehee. I think that’s where a lot of my problems arose. I was deathly afraid to ask people (it’s slowly getting better, but I’m still quite shy many times), but I also couldn’t speak ANY Japanese, so it wouldn’t have helped anyways! I felt like it was rude to even try to ask in English, when it wasn’t the native language. >.>;;; It would have helped me a lot if I wasn’t so shy and bullheaded, that’s for sure!

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