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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 10 Shinjuku Park

I might have botched the mathematics yesterday.  What I wanted to say was that the 2-week Green Car Japan Rail Pass cost me $532 in Honolulu.  Just the roundtrip today from Nagoya to Tokyo and back was priced at around $300 in the Green Car.  Thus, this side trip was worth more than half the entire two-week train itinerary.  And Nagoya is not that far away from Tokyo, 161 miles.  Nagasaki, for example, is just about 600 miles away.

It was so cloudy, I barely caught Mount Fuji:


This is what a tea field looks like.  It's always well-manicured.


After arriving in Tokyo, I caught the JR Yamanote Line to Shinjuku:


That's a Yamanote train going the other way approaching us.  I stopped by Takashimaya Department Store to pick up my bento and drinks.  I noticed a $77 musk melon:


The line into Shinjuku Park was massive.  Entry costs less than $2, but there are signs you can't bring in any alcoholic drink.  They check all bags.  Here is what a standard hanami (picnic under cherry trees) looks like:


They sit on the ground.  I like to confiscate a bench.  I noticed in the past that no electronic device was used, and they don't body check you.  Thus, I slipped a beer and sparkling sake into my jacket and had with them a chu-toro sushi with burdock and lotus fish cake:


Chu-toro is the ultimate blue fin tuna, in that o-toro is too fatty.  That's a Kirin Sakura Beer.  I was surrounded by chrysanthemums of all colors:


The cherry blossoms above me were not quite at peak, which is supposed to occur this weekend:


I dropped off Pearl's Ashes 50+c where I left PA#21 almost exactly six years ago:


Otherwise, the Sakura was okay, but should improve over the next few days.  


See the turtle?  There also were azaleas:


On the trip back to Nagoya I noticed a plastic cup with ice, which I purchased, had something that looked like rubber cement on the side.  I tried to take it off, but then realized the two spots (you can't really see the one towards the bottom) were there so that the cup does not slip out of your hand.  Quite clever, actually.  Also, 2.5 hours later after I bought the cup, which I filled with a mizuwari (whiskey/water), one third the ice was still ice.  There must be something to the cover and straw that keeps the temperature in the cup low.


Well, back to my Concierge Lounge, where my dinner was:


Another great day in PaGA2017.  Tomorrow, I'm off to the Marriott Karuizawa, in cold country.

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