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