Monday, June 19, 2017

Japanecdote: How to Lose Friends

From Himeji, we took the shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station where we arrived during rush hour. After retrieving our bags from the coin lockers, we went to the platform and waited for the train that would take us to Osaka Station. We didn't notice until the train had arrived and there was a rush of women pouring out that we had queued at the section where the Women Only car was to stop. Our lady friends took their places in the comfortably uncrowded Women Only car and we, men, scrambled to the next car where we squeezed in with the Japanese salarymen. As soon as our train arrived at Osaka Station a sea of commuters flowed out from our train and from the train on the opposite track, then more commuters ebbed into the trains to take our place.

Photo from

We were carried along by the hurrying commuters and I craned my neck to try and find our lady friends. It was like trying to Find Wally. Worse, the friend I was with had forgotten to bring his eyeglasses. We decided to wait by the exit turnstiles in the hopes that the ladies would go there. I tried finding a free WiFi spot. Minutes went by but no lady friends nor could I contact them through WhatsApp/FB Messenger. This was to be our first night in Osaka and we were on our way to check in to our Airbnb apartment. I wasn't sure if my two friends had the address for the apartment (we have to take another train to get there).

I told my blurry-eyed friend not to move while I tried to find the girls. I went back to the thankfully now uncongested platforms (the trains have just left) and scanned the lines of people. Just as the next train was arriving I spotted the girls and ran to them.

What was the girls' side of the story? Turns out that as I was craning my neck to look for them in the sea of commuters, they had waved at us and had assumed we had seen them.

Moral of the story?
1. If you and your friends have to take the train during rush hour, stick together.
2. It pays to have a pocket WiFi.
3. Do not forget your eyeglasses.
4. If you find your travel buddies annoying and want to get rid of them, do the opposite of the first three items.
5. It really is very difficult to Find Wally.

Know Before You Go
Single Entry Tourist Visa for Japan
Roam Around Japan with a Swagger
An Ignoramus in Japan: Vending Machines
An Ignoramus in Japan: Bathrooms and Toilets
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers
I Spy With My Little Eye: Japan's Fashion Contradictions
I Spy With My Little Eye: On the Go in Japan

From Tokyo to Hiroshima (2015)
10D/9N | Tokyo, Toyama, Kyoto, Hyogo, Osaka, Hiroshima
Tokyo Accommodation: Shinjuku Airbnb
Tokyo: Memorable Tokyo Eats
Tokyo: Odaiba
Tokyo: Doing Touristy Things in Tokyo
Toyama: A Hamlet Called Ainokura
Kyoto Accommodation: K's House Hostel Kyoto
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Wisdom from the Road: On exits #2
Kyoto: By the Thousands (Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sanjusangendo, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove)
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Turning Japanese
Kyoto: Braving the Crowds at these UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto (Kiyomizu-dera, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji)
Hyogo, Japanecdote: If Only I Could Speak Nihongo
Hyogo: Day Trip to Himeji: Himeji Castle and Shoshazan Engyoji Temple
Hyogo, Japanecdote: Am I an Alien?
Hiroshima: Strolling and Snacking in Miyajima
Hiroshima: Remembering the Past in Hiroshima
Osaka, Japanecdote: How to Lose Friends (you're here!)
Osaka Accommodation: Osaka Airbnb
Osaka, Japanecdote: Where is Bentencho Station?
Osaka: Osaka Castle and Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai
Osaka, Japanecdote: Learn From Your Mistakes

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