From the very beginning of our visit, our trainers had been asking us where we’d want to go for the weekend. Even while back in Malaysia, while busy compiling stuff (work related) to take CK and I had planned that we should check out Mt Fuji and Disneyland (this was CK’s idea. For some unknown reason, Disneyland wasn’t part of my itinerary, me being more interested in the cultural or historical aspect of things but I was cool with it. After all, chances are I might never be able to get to Florida to go to the real one) However, we were soon to find out that Disneyland needs at least two days, and that everything would be in Japanese. And somehow, the Japanese were not too keen on Mt Fuji, stating that we could see it from the Shinkansen when we travel from Hiratsuka to Nagoya. Why would we want to just see Mt Fuji? Going to it would be a better bet, aight?
Anyway, we met with the trainers at the train station at 10 am to go to Yokohama. I absolutely love the train system here. Now, Yokohama is well known as a tourist’s place as we saw a huge number of tourists (mostly Western in origin) We walked around the outside of the stadium, across Yamashita Park where I tried snapping a picture of a tortoise, met a crazy person (seriously, the dude was shouting at no one in particular while I blurly tried to get a shot of the fountain), and we finally headed to walk along ChinaTown (See, it IS a tourist spot) We saw the Hikawa Maru, a ship that travelled between Yokohama and Seattle around the 1930’s right up till 1961. Somewhere within those years she was made into what they called a Hospital Ship during the war. There seemed to be an international carnival of sorts going on as well, where cuisine and brick brats from certain countries were displayed for sale. It was interesting to see, but I thought it was odd getting cool stuff from the African or Peruvian stall whilst in Japan. Don’t ask.
Lunch was Chinese (but I’ve had better) and we then just kept on walking and walking. I thought it was a waste that we just walked instead of stopping at places that could have been interesting (we passed by a silk museum, and the Soka Gakkai Building among others). Coincidentally, half of our group was stuck at a red traffic light and I had the chance to take a picture of Nihon –O Dori, the first modern street in Japan. I am now interested to find out more about the slightly more modern history of Japan. Enough of reading on emperors and the war in school.
We saw another ship after that, this one a training ship followed by a performance by a street performer and some jazz music near the Communication Tower (name?) A request to check out the aquarium (which houses a killer whale, I kid you not) was rejected for some reason. We then took the train back to Hiratsuka. The trainers took us to a 100 yen shop near the station as we related our almost sad tale of not being able to find the one near our dorm on Friday. Dinner was ramen this time. Not fully up to our expectations but it was alright seeing that we lacked variety in our daily food intake. Once again it was only the three of us, CK, JC and myself, with one of the trainers. The other trainees had decided to get bento boxes (lit translated: lunch box) for their dinner.