Recently in Trip Planning (Asia 2005) Category
Hmm, so indeed I didn't sleep. Ate my breakfast (two eggs, two white toast, one bagel), and currently wearing a very comfortable grey McGill sweater in anticipation of a long nap on the plane. I wish I could sleep the whole 12 hours of flight 'tween O'Hare and Narita... -_-;
EST + 1400 = JST
Therefore it doesn't matter whether I sleep or not, it's like pulling an all-nighter. Anyways.
Things with me: Japan Lonely Planet guide, plane ticket, Canadian passport, handful of yen, handful of us dollars, my <3 digicam, two spare batteries, Dawkins' Selfish Gene, Murakami's Underground, the textbook for Bacterial Pathogenesis, a lab stopwatch, music CDs, data CDs, 2002 model of Sony CD-MP3, Japanese phrasebook, printouts of customs restrictions, help sheets "interview skills", Moleskine booklet/diary, magnetic clip-on, postcard from the "Montreal voit grand" exhibit, vouchers for various exhibits, pens, eraser, a couple of papers on SARS and Influenza, and photos of friends and family <3.
Ok, this is it. Tomorrow I'm leaving. I was trying to reminisce the weeks/days before leaving last time, and nothing comes in mind. Except for generalities, such as, it was in the middle of summer, and it was hot. *_* Of course, anything photo-documented, I'll remember. But preparations to the trip? Absolutely nothing, besides buying the Hong Kong & Macau Lonely Planet. Not even packing up. It must've been because I had no idea of what I was going there for. Perhaps I went just to run away from something... The after-effects of the trip lasted for about two years: taking Chinese classes, listening to even more Jpop/Cpop/Kpop, overdosing of FanTasia, and so on...
(Oh well, my mom won't let me breathe until I leave. I've been planning the trip, and she's planning *the logistics* of my trip.)
And then, nothing. No more dreams, no more nothing. It is probably b/c I repress but since I'm going, there's nothing to repress about anymore. Only pure hard reality: I am physically going to remove myself from North America. I want to get lost in Japan. I mean, anywhere, as long as it isn't here...
The pics collection is thus reachable from the side links (the icon/image you can't miss). And I say: sayonara Montreal.
This usually never works, as people totally ignore calls for addresses. Well, anyways, if you're a friend reachable online (such as K ^^;), please send me your addresses. I'll erase the comment after noting it down. Real-life friends, I already have it, or will harass you until you give it to me. >:O (Your lack of commenting really makes me think I'm talking to myself, hrm)
[music: New Order - Someone Like You]
The Japanese Yen's like freakin' $87.20 CAD now (up from 83.50 two weeks ago)... Of course, as always putting things into perspective, every cent the Canadian Dollar gains on the JPY is like one buck... The yen was 76 cents when I was in Japan in 2002. Now that I think back, I went the weekend of August 10th-ish, an important Holiday in the Japanese calendar, thus why Tokyo was so eerily empty, even at rush hour.
Called the YH in Nagoya. So, I have a bed and a reservation for April 4th and 5th! WOOTTE.
My Murakami books also came in, yay.
I also dare Google to list me as the only source to clear directions in English for getting to the Expo 2005 site. So everyone can more or less find his way to Nagoya station. Now there seems to be a few ways to get to the Expo site, which is about 20 km away from the center of Nagoya. Two easier ways for backpackers to get there (which I'll try when I get there): one is via the Nagoya subway, the other is through the "Aichi Loop" line. But so far, nothing specific about the line off Google, so I'll assume it exists. Both ways get you to the ends of the Linimo, that maglev train I've heard about a lot in tourist videos about Japan - well actually, the Japanese version of the Maglev (the Germans have their own - implemented in Shanghai between the city centre and Pudong Airport) seems to be to its first real-life-with-real-passengers incarnation, and was opened March 6th 2005, err, I mean, will open March 6th 2005. ^^; So, here we go:
- Subway: Take the subway at Nagoya station. Take the yellow line (Higashiyama Line - Or "Eastern Hills" (東山) to designate the hilly area East of Nagoya, I think.) up to the end towards East. The name of the station you stop at is called Fujigaoka (藤が丘). From there, take the Linomo up to Banpaku Kaijo (万博会場 - roughly "International Expo Meeting Plaza", says Babelfish and mine incoherent Chinese >_>) station (this is station "L07", whereas Fujigaoka is L01). The subway fee is 290円 and the Linimo is 340円, for a total of 630円, about CAD7.40 or USD6.00 as of today.
- Train: I suppose it's part of the JR pass, so right away you save the $3-4 worth of train. So from Nagoya station, take the obscure Aichi Loop Line. From the JR station of Yakusa (八草), you can apparently reach the end of the maglev line Linimo called Banpaku Yakusa (万博八草 - roughly "International Expo Yakusa" - and I recognize the kanji standing for "Eight Grasses"). This station is labelled "L07". So, basically it's two stations towards the West direction to Banpaku Kaijo (万博会場). I don't know what the cost of the train is, but for the Linimo part, since you are travelling between only two stations, it's only 160円 (CAD1.90 and USD1.52 - I pay less than this to travel between my home and downtown Montreal everyday, for about the same distance between Nagoya station and the Expo site... Japan's going to be my ruin -_-).
(PDF Map of the Nagoya subway, which can come in handy if you're a proficient recognizer of kanji! A cute Japanese-only map of the Linomo line. Linimo fares and schedules. And the best map found so far of the itiniraries I just described, in Chinese/kanji only, phew - ok let's steal it from JR Central and post it here... Will amend this entry as I get more info...)