first, some people might be worried about the earthquake, since it was a big one. apparently, it ranked a good 7.1 on the scale, but that was at the epicenter which was not close to where i am here in Tokyo. what i felt may have been more of a 4-ish, but nothing close to the strength and destruction of a 7! so I’m all good, in one piece. nothing even fell off the walls in the house.
second, today i did nothing really, and it was nice. it was good to relax and get back some energy to get going again. i got to chat online with David for many hours and it was really nice to talk to him… and at 9 i met up with Justin at a bar around the station and we had drinks and food. it was really nice to get to spend time with him, and to sample some Japanese food.
earlier on i tried finding and internet cafe to burn my pictures from my memory cards onto a CD but there was nothing around. so i went to the photo shop here and they can only put 200 pictures on one CD, so i would have needed well over 8 CD to cover everything i have. at Y525 each, that’s really not worth it! the thing is that i have no more room on both of my cards and i would really hate to do a day trip around Tokyo without my camera. it would be a shame!!! so i really need to get that sorted out asap. also, I’ve just learned that they’ve shortened the hiking season on Mt Fuji so i will have to do the hike either Friday or this weekend if i want to have access to facilities and obtain my branded walking stick.
see, japan is obsessed with stamps and seals that show where you have been. so train stations, temples and museum might have a stamp section, so that you can stamp your book as a proof that you’ve been here. this has been great for my journal – it is filled with numerous stamps for different things around japan. it’s a great souvenir! while usually free though, for Mt Fuji, it is not. you have to buy a plain wooden stick (Y1000) and at each station you walk up to, pay about Y300 to Y500 for a brand onto your stick. so with many stations along the way, it adds up. and with having to ship the stick home, it will really add up! but it will be such a good souvenir.
but i don’t know if i have enough energy to hike Mt Fuji right now… it’s a really steep hike, and it takes 6 hours just to reach the top. the volcano, japan’s tallest, is 3776 m tall, which means that you can easily get altitude sickness. then, at the top, it’s really cold! and then you have to walk back down… people here like to do the hike at night, so that they can watch the sun rise. pretty hardcore. but it’s one of those things you have to do in japan!!!
so anyhow, i guess that tomorrow will be spent trying to burn pictures onto a CD rather than actually going somewhere or doing something… then I’ll be all set for great places like Mt Fuji, Nikko, Kamakura and Yokohama!