Posts Tagged kinokuniya

June 7, 2005 – Million Dollar Baby in Yokohama

There is currently a shortage of teachers in the Numazu / Mishima / Fuji / Fujinomiya area. I made myself available to do some overtime shifts to make a little extra money, however schools in my area were cutting costs and were told not to allow any overtime.

Since I had nothing else going on, I decided to go to the Tokyo area to find something fun to do. My first stop was my old neighbourhood. I got a haircut from the really good barber near Shinyurigaoka station, and then stopped by a bank to send some money home. Thanks to advice from other teachers, I got a Lloyd’s account which allows me to transfer money from my SMBC Japanese bank account to my Canadian bank account with a flat transaction fee. The best part is that I can do this transfer from any SMBC bank machine.  I need to send money home periodically to make sure that my student loans are being paid, and it also prevents me from overspending. Like other teachers, I try to watch the exchange rates and do my transfers when the forex is favourable.

After sending money home, I treated myself to Wendy’s for lunch. I then headed off to Shinjuku to buy some books at Kinokuniya. I love Kinokuniya – it is probably the best book store in the country. I was going to be productive and do some clothes shopping, but decided that since I had already been somewhat productive (getting up early, haircut, money transfer), that I should do something fun. I ended up heading to Yokohama to see a movie.

This was my first time going to a movie theater by myself. It felt strange to go solo, which is a bit funny when you consider that you really aren’t supposed to talk to people in the theater anyway. I bought a ticket for Million Dollar Baby and then killed some time playing video games at a nearby game center while I waited for the movie to start.

Million Dollar Baby is simply a fantastic movie, although it probably caught a lot of people off guard because it is marketed as one kind of movie and then half way through becomes something completely and totally different. No, I am not going to give any spoilers. I really enjoyed the experience, but would have liked someone to talk about the movie with after it ended.

After the movie I got a quick bite to eat, and then proceeded to drag my giant, heavy bag of new books through a few train stations on my way home. It’s great living so close to the Greater Tokyo area!

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January 5, 2004 – Kinokuniya is the best

Takashimaya Times Square

Today I went shopping in Shinjuku. From Noborito, Shinjuku is about 20 minutes on the Odakyu line. Outside the south exit of Shinjuku station is a massive shopping complex called Takashimaya Times Square which has several different stores.

My first stop was Kinokuniya bookstore, which has 7 huge floors full of books. The 6th floor was entirely foreign books and magazines, most of them in English. I bought two books to learn Japanese and Michael Moore’s “Dude, Where’s My Country”.

After Kinokuniya, I went to Tokyu Hands. It is a department store that carries the most and least useful things known to mankind, and everything in between. Their motto is “when you visit, you find what you want”. The most memorable item of the day was a pair of glasses with a flexible camera so you can look into your own ears. Tokyu Hands is definitely worth a visit if you are in Japan.

(partial rewrite of original post due to spelling errors and to add some detail)

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