Adventure in Hamadayama

Well, today was the day Nicky had to move out of the Weekly Mansion Sugamo. Despite being sad about it, we both stayed pretty peppy all day, and took on the adventure of moving in 33ÂșC heat + humidity with determination. Nicky left about half of her stuff with me in Sugamo, which was probably a good idea, as we had quite the ordeal today.

We needed to go to Shinjuku first, so that Nicky could sign the lease on her new place, and despite fears that we might get lost, we found the place without any missteps. [Of course, if I’d followed the map they’d given her entirely, we would have walked way too far. Thank goodness the building was labeled well!] While Nicky took care of her paperwork, I scoured their materials rack for visitor and job information, and got us both an English version of the subway lines.

Afterwards, we decided to stop in at Moss Burger to try their teriyaki burgers. Wow! So yummy! The combo of teriyaki and asian mayonnaise was so delicious! We also had melon sodas, which probably didn’t go too well with the rest of the meal, but oh well. It was melon soda and it was green!

The next leg of our trip was the difficult part. It was getting hotter, and the luggage was really heavy, so we were getting tired and sore, and we still had to get to Nicky’s new place. Well, we navigated Shibuya station well enough, and Hamadayama after that, but unfortunately, we got lost on the street Nicky’s house was supposed to be on.

What I can say is that Hamadayama is a really nice, quaint little town. It feels very rural, as it is in the boonies of Tokyo, and even if every single car in the neighborhood was a BMW, it was mostly retirees scuttling about with their day. When we finally got tired of going in circles, I left Nicky with her luggage so I could run down the street to ask for directions. Unfortunately, even the locals I asked didn’t know where it was. At this point I was feeling a bit defeated, but returned to Nicky just as another woman came out of her house to see if we were okay.

We were really lucky, because this woman, Kaori, spoke excellent English, and offered her air-conditioned home to us while she asked her husband Yusuke to help with directions. We were even given cold tea while they googled the address for us. Yusuke went ahead to find the house, and after he discovered where it was, he guided us there.... how silly we felt when the house we were looking for was -exactly- where we had finally admitted to being lost! We thanked Yusuke and Kaori profusely before retiring up to Nicky’s new room to make sure her air-conditioning and internet worked.

I had to get back to Sugamo to do some homework, so wasn’t able to stay with her long, but it’s a really lovely apartment... seated right in the middle of a small bamboo garden with a koi pond out back. The cicada are a bit noisy, but I like that sound, so it didn’t bother me. On the way back to the station, we stopped at McDonalds [purely to compare tastes with Moss Burger] and nope, McDonalds is still McDonalds, even in Japan. Don’t let the rumors fool you!

After dinner, we parted ways for the time being and I headed back to Sugamo for some much needed studying... I got hungry again so decided to snack on some chocolate I’d bought the day before at the supermarket. Of course, when I pulled it out of the fridge (it would melt if it wasn’t in there), I actually noticed what the candy was called... “CRUNKY”... that gave me a few giggles.

Also, tomorrow starts my first full week in the intensive summer program! Here’s hoping it’s not as intensive as Berkeley’s definition of “intensive.”