So for the lasts few days there were no guests at all. None for lunch, and none sleeping. Very unusual for the middle of sakura season. I guess the soft lock in Tokyo is having it’s effect. Not much has happened, apart from a few things. One day for dinner someone brought in a case of fresh boiled crabs for dinner. Eating straight out of the shell put me and Damien off quite a bit. Ew.
Another one of the days I almost consumed an unbirthed chicken egg. That was a close one.
A Day Trip to Kofu
Fast forward to today, where I finally decided to get off of my ass and buy my camping equipment. I want to go hiking/camping around Yamanashi while I’m here so I thought it would be a good idea to go to Kofu and go to an outdoor shop, ask for advice, and get what I need. I also wanted to buy a new camera, since the Jordanian sand still stuck inside the mechanical parts of the Sony camera is causing it to malfunction a little. I walked down the hill late morning to catch a bus to Minobu Station. I had it all to myself along the entire route, from start to terminus. Excuse my finger.
I took this as my chance to finally poke my head into the Minobu Manju shop, where the characters from Yuru Camp visit in one of the episodes. I meant to eat some on the train but didn’t get round to it, and after that I didn’t want to ruin my appetite for lunch. I’ll probably try some after I finish writing this 🙂
This is the bench where they eat their manju. Or maybe it’s the next one along. I’m not scene hunting so I didn’t check.
After that I went over to Minobu Station to catch my train to Kofu, and snapped this shot on the platform.
The Minobu line goes through Kai-Tokiwa, where the Yuru Camp school is. It’s been closed for a good half a decade now, but Yuru Camp has breathed new life into it as a tourist attraction. It’s even listed on google maps as “Motosu High School” under the tourist attraction icon (which it wasn’t last year).
Anyway, maybe another time I’ll check it out in detail. I took a few blurry shots from the train though.
Stopping at one of the stations a tree covered in blossoms parked itself perfectly in front of the opposite train window.
I took the limited express part of the way and had to finish off my journey on the local after changing trains.
I snapped this shot at the station I had to get off at.
And this one on the way to the outdoor sports shop.
I asked someone to help me out and I successfully purchased a little camping stove, pot, water bottle and spork. I took a pass on the tent and sleeping stuff since it was veeeerrrryyyy expensive and there was only a choice between like 2 of each. The guy at the store helped me pick out much cheaper equipment on Amazon though. I’ll probably order them to the ryokan.
Right across the street was a big multistory electronics store. Perfect chance for me to get my new camera. I’ve been eyeing up the Lumix TZ-90 on the web for a few days, but unfortunately they had the far more recent (and more expensive) model, the TZ-95. I probably stood in front of the camera pacing up and down the aisle for about half an hour deciding whether I really wanted it. In the end I caved and bought it. The cashier tried to make me sign up to something to get 5000 yen off my purchase, but I didn’t understand what was going on. She ripped it up and ditched me signing up to whatever but I somehow still got the 5000 yen discount. Nice ;]
I found a 7 Eleven nearby so I could eat lunch and drool over my new camera.
When I was done drooling, I followed the road towards central Kofu for a 45 minute walk to meet Damien. He’s participating in a big art project where they’re getting a load of well-known artist to contribute to. And because he knows the guy organising it he managed to partake in it somehow. He’s getting paid for it too. Fair play to him.
I was still drooling over my new camera during the walk so I took another picture of it.
After that I actually started using it properly and took lots of pictures to test it out along the way. Here are some of the best ones.
Then I got to where the art thing was taking place. And took more pictures of it with my new camera.
I took a couple shots of Damien. I’m still learning the ropes with this new camera so some of them are a bit blurry.
It zooms quite a bit more than the Sony camera 🙂
After that I was going to take the train back but Damien kindly offered to give me a ride back. The journey was picturesque. The city with the backdrop of the mountains was very very nice.
Oh yeah and the camera’s screen flips up so you can see it from the front and use it to take selfies. Very high quality nice looking selfies.
So yeah that brings me to now. Shortly after getting back I clocked in for an hour and did a load of dishes, ate dinner with everyone, and now I’m winding down for bed. Gnight.
We are continuing to enjoy your blog.
When do you intend to return to the UK – if there will be any flights!
Love, Gordon and Joan
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I’m sticking to the original plan which is leaving mid July. Hopefully it clears up by then. If not, then staying a bit longer isn’t a massive issue as my Visa lasts for a year 🙂