Rain. And more rain. That was today. It was raining when I got up. My hopes lifted at breakfast downstairs when it let up, and the people on the sidewalk stopped carrying umbrellas, but by the time I was ready to go out, it was raining again. I got in touch my with old classmate from film school, Yas, and we arranged to meet at 4 at his shop.
The museums being closed today, I decided I’d head to Shinjuku for a bit, managing to understand the subway staff’s instructions on how to use the card I’d kept from Osaka. I was looking for signs to the Marunouchi Line from the Ginza Line when an American woman pulling a large piece of luggage asked me just that. “I…uh…” I stammered, as I didn’t know. She stared at me, and then shrugged dismissively.
“No help? Ok,” she said, as if I had snubbed her.
I did manage to fine the right platform. And so did she. It’s not hard if you just follow the signs.
In Shinjuku I walked over and through the Golden Gai, where I’d first met and photographed Moriyama years ago. All the little shops were closed of course. After lunch I visited the shrine that had been under construction the last time I was staying in the area. Rain once again began to pelt the ground as I walked back towards the train station. Dozens of stories above, window washers were no doubt saying to themselves, “Well, shit.”
I found a Starbucks near a Krispy Kreme whose empty, silent assembly line bore quiet testament to the fact that Krispy Kreme isn’t nearly as popular as it was before they changed the recipes. I’d been told that all Starbucks offered free wifi, but the sign-up process requires that you register at home first. So much for that. In fact, in the year 2014, Japan, which is so advanced in so many other ways, takes a positively medieval view of wifi. It is almost never offered, and when it is, it’s with prohibitively complicated requirements.
Outside, people were struggling with their umbrellas as the wind picked up, adding to the general nastiness of the day. I took the train out to Asagaya Minami, where Yas’ shop is, and completely failed to find it until Yas actually came out and grabbed me. We spent the next few hours talking about his new career as a VJ, movies, etc. It was good to catch up. I showed him some clips from The Kiss of Lady X, and he was astounded that we did what we did for such a small amount of money. He also suggested I watch The Castle of Caglioso, an early Miyazaki work.
I took the train back around 9 pm. The rain continued, unabated. The wind wasn’t helping, either. I had some katsu-don at a nearby place Louis had recommended, and then it was back to the hotel to dry out my things and take a hot shower. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow.