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Jeff on Canada Ending and Japan Starting
September 6th, 2009 by Jeff

Hello All,

I am finally getting a little time to sit and blog – train from Narita to Nagoya – as both Phoebe and Kate do the ralphing thing when reading or writing while in motion and Tessa has the Kindle. So I get to catch up on my writing.

The last of the Canadian adventures went great. Anne and Kellea were superb hosts in Parksville. Kate already blogged about the sandcastles we saw but didn’t go into the swim in the river. Anne and Kellea took us to an ideal spot to jump in and swim in some of Canada’s clear running waters (clear because it had probably just melted off some glacier – also meaning it was pretty chilly). Tessa, Phoebe and our hosts decided to do a little swimming. Phoebe braved here way into the water a complete trooper, while Tessa figured she might as well get completely wet after falling in most of the way while fording the river. I just wanted to be safe in this swimming adventure, so I decided to act as life guard for the group and stayed on shore and supervise the swim ;-) !

I also really enjoyed getting back together with Kyle and Robyn for another assault on Mount Wells which, as Kate noted, was a big success.

(Continuation of post started in train from Nagoya)

Japan has definitely been interesting, fun and exciting. After a few days in Narita (see Kate’s blog entry), we have made our way to Nagoya and now Takayama. In Narita we decided to challenge ourselves a little and split up in teams to conquer the city. Kate and Tessa went to the Noritake China Museum and Phoebe and I ventured off to the zoo. How does the saying go, “getting there is half the fun”. We all started out together on the train but then broke off in different directions on the subway. Phoebe and I struggled a little finding the correct station, but with a little help from the kind people of Nagoya we found the right line, and were able to purchase tickets at the kiosk. That was harder than I thought it would be. I found the button that said English and got the directions, it basically read as follows on one simple screen:

1. Get fare from chart
2. Insert Money
3. Get ticket

I figured out the fare on the chart and could insert the money, but had no idea which button to push to get the ticket, whether I had to insert the money before or after I selected the route (or if I had to select a route at all).  Once again Karma sent along a Japanese helper to assist the ignorant and befuddled American. With a quick lesson, we were on our way with the proper tickets.

We spent a couple of fun hours at the zoo and added quite a few creatures to the critter count (I will let Phoebe add to the list). I think my favorites were the various asian bears (Japanese brown, Japanese black, Malaysian Sun and the Sloth bear) all quite impressive and the up close look at the zoo made me glad we saw our Canadian bear from the car.

We are now in Takayama at a great hostel (J-Hoppers) and have a cool traditional Japanese room with futons for sleeping. We also did a little touring of the town. I have discovered that they have a microbrewery here and a couple of sake breweries that offer tastings (I think I’m going to try that out when the girls go to do the traditional Japanese bath thing)!

Sayanora for now,

Jeff


One Response  
Auntie Krissy writes:
September 8th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Just think Jeff, some clever engineer like yourself designed that ticket machine!

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