Today I did a little shopping. A friend of mine who lives here informed me that pillows are very hard to obtain outside of a big city. I'm probably going to be uncomfortable enough sleeping on the futon for the first few days before I buy a bed frame, so I decided to splurge on this luxury item. I don't think I mentioned this, but the pillow in my hotel is very hard. Harder than memory foam. And it weighs about 5 pounds. Well, I went to the department store and discovered that Japanese people actually like rocks for pillows. I passed by row after row of pillows that were about the same as the one in my hotel. They all cost about 90-100 dollars. Then, finally, in the last aisle I saw 女性のためのフェザーピロー: "Feather pillows for women." There were no feather pillows for men. These pillows were being sold for the low price of 20-30 dollars. I bought one.
Feather pillows? Pretty worthless, but some women just have to have them.
I also bought clothes pins. Japanese people don't use dryers. Instead, they line dry all of their clothing. I'll be doing the same on the balcony of my apartment.
And finally, I bought a french press!!! I had to poke around to find one. It seems that most people use either a coffee maker or some kind of pour-over. I've also seen lots of siphons, although they are pretty expensive here, too. I was willing to buy a pourover, but all of the ones I found were made out of plastic or silicon. I also found a percolator, but it was pretty expensive and it looked like it was made of aluminum. I finally came across a nice, normal, glass french press. Unfortunately, I overlooked buying a coffee grinder. I'm not so sure cafes or supermarkets will grind the coffee for me. But I guess I'll find out.
This is called "Central Park." It's pretty long. I think it may stretch between two subway stops. This part looked like a fun place to practice precision jumping, but I wasn't in the right shoes and I think I would have gotten some looks.
The cherry blossoms are in full bloom now, and everyone is telling me they'll be gone by Tuesday. So this weekend, lots of people were doing Hanami (花見) - literally, Flower Watching. What this actually entails is sitting on a blanket under some cherry trees with some friends while you all eat and drink. On a related note, drinking in public is legal in Japan. However, walking while you drink (or smoke) is considered uncouth. I haven't seen a Japanese person do either of those things yet.
Obviously not all of the city is next to a beautiful park, but it definitely has more greenery than either New York or Boston.
Tomorrow I set out for my new home town and my new apartment. I probably won't have much internet access for the next couple of weeks because my apartment doesn't have it set up yet. However, I'll keep taking photos and update you soon!