Posts Tagged Mukogaoka-yuen
Thanks to a shift swap, I spent the day hanging out with The Penpal in the Noborito area instead of working. We spent some time at Hello House, and then walked to Ikuta Park, which is located near Mukogaoka-yuen station. Unlike many “parks” in the greater Tokyo area which consist of a tree and a bench, Ikuta park is actually a real park. The scenery is a start contrast to the surrounding area. When you enter, the city simply stops and you are surrounded by nature. I will have to come back in the spring!
(2014 update) As you can see from the date stamp on the picture, I did go back in the spring.
The Penpal came to visit me in Noborito today. We watched movies, practiced languages, and enjoyed a romantic dinner at Wendy’s. Okay, it was actually lunch, and not terribly romantic. But we did it together and it was fun.
The Penpal had to leave in the late afternoon. From Noborito she would take the Odakyu line to Odawara and then change to Tokaido line to go to Numazu. I wanted to spend some more time with her, so I came up with a clever idea. At Noborito station I bought the cheapest ticket available, good for one stop on the Odakyu line. We then rode together to Odawara. We said goodbye at the Odakyu exit gate, and then I got on the next train going back towards Tokyo. I got off at Mukogaoka-yuen station, which is exactly one stop away from Noborito. In total I got to spend another hour with The Penpal and to travel a round trip of 134km for the low price of 130 yen.
Feeling pretty proud of myself, I stopped in at Daiei to get some discount food for dinner instead of cooking. I was pleasantly surprised to find an entire pizza with jalapenos, olives and pepperoni for half price. How can you beat 450 yen for a whole pizza?
Just a fantastic day all around.
I ventured out again today with lack of anything else to do. I found the ward office and applied for my gaijin registration card. Thankfully I knew some Japanese or the application would have taken forever. The clerk was very polite and helpful. The map to find the office was not as I ended up wandering in a circle for half an hour. Would it kill them to name the streets here?
The rest of my day was shopping and killing time. Nothing interesting.
The ward office in the Noborito area is just north of Mukogaoka-yuen station. The north side of the station is full of very narrow, congested streets with no names. I literally had sensory overload trying to process everything I was seeing – signs, bicycles, people, cars in every direction. When I say I walked in a circle, I mean that I literally walked for 30 minutes and ended up where I started by accident.
The clerk at the ward office spoke almost no English, which is surprising considering that they process gaijin registration cards. Other than the language issue, the service I received was exceptional. Public servants around the world could take lessons from Japanese public servants.