Shopping, working out, and raw horse meat

Shopping, working out, and raw horse meat

I didn’t have to work today (Saturday) which was a welcome surprise, so I set out to explore Fussa city on my bike.

I rode down near the train station and parked my bike in front of Mister Donuts.

My red bike stands out in the sea of black and silver bikes here, making it easy to find.

My red bike stands out in the sea of black and silver bikes here, making it easy to find.

Not knowing if I had to pay or not, I typed ‘free’ into an offline iPhone app I have and showed the screen to someone passing by. He didn’t speak any English but directed me to a sign.

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I understood enough Japanese to figure out that it is free for under 2 hours, then locks your bike and you have to pay ¥100 ($1) to unlock it.

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I went inside and ordered, using Japanese when I could.

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After the donut shop, I wandered to Seiyu, which is similar to a Wal-Mart. The first floor is 24 hours and has your basic groceries. Floors 2-5 have household goods, clothes, and a small outdoor section including Coleman camping supplies.

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Characters on the blue sign say: ビ (Bi) ル (ru), or Bi-ru (Beer). They had Corona, but no American beers that I could see.

After looking around but not buying anything, I wandered to McDonald’s across the street. All of this is within a 5 minute bike ride from my apartment – pretty convenient.

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Look how small the cup is!

I got what looked like a Double Sausage Egg McMuffin and a small coke. The total was ¥420, or $4.02. Besides the ketchup, it was good and I’d order it again. I realize I’ve now been to McDonald’s in more than 7 countries: Japan, China, Poland, Switzerland, Bosnia, France, Italy and I’m sure a few more that I’m forgetting. I see McDonald’s like an embassy of sorts. Somewhere I can escape to and for 10 minutes forget I’m halfway around the world. Plus they normally have free wi-fi.

After breakfast, I went back to my apartment to workout at the park since the weather was nice. Although it’s a high in the mid forties, the clear skies and sunshine make it feel a lot warmer than back in Greenville. It’s actually pretty pleasant. If I arrived here and the weather was cold and rainy I would probably feel much different about Japan. The skies are so clear that 5 minutes from my apartment I can see Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan which is about 80 miles away. That’s further than Greenville to Columbia.

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I grabbed my rings, jump rope, and bike and made my way to the park. In addition to the pull-up bar I found yesterday, I found a spot where I can hang my rings.

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The top is too short for me to do muscle-ups, so I’ll have to find another place to do those. One of these days I’ll post a video of myself doing some. Other than that though, it’s perfect –  much better than a tree branch. 

After doing ring dips, pull-ups, ring push-ups, and double-unders, it was time to meet Saki. He took me on a tour of where to shop near my apartment, pointing out a supermarket, Daiso (¥100 shop – dollar store), and Seiyu. I bought a good amount of things for my apartment, as I was limited on what I could bring with the airline. Things like utensils, garbage cans, and a clothesline/hangers since I don’t have a drier. Ended up spending about $40 and got a good amount of stuff. I’ll make a dedicated post about supermarkets soon.

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We got lunch at a restaurant inside Seiyu which wasn’t too expensive and tasted good. I’d go back there and order it even if I was by myself.

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We took an afternoon break and then met two other coworkers for dinner at another Japanese restaurant near Fussa Station. We ordered a number of meals that were shared between the two of us including raw horse meat and stingray fin. The raw horse meat was … interesting and the stingray fin was chewy but good until you realized you were eating stingray.

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Raw horse meat in the background

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Stingray fin in the foreground

After dinner we parted ways and I tried to stay up as late as possible, but ended up falling asleep around 9:30 pm. Tomorrow I’m going to eat at my manager’s Sato-san’s house with 2 other coworkers. Getting there at 3 pm and it will be a mix of lunch and dinner – looking forward to it.