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Japan: A Blog (from 2005) pt 11 of 912.

Goin' shoppin'...

Well, this is two days before the trip to Yamadera

First a preface. Japan is hot and muggy in August. All over. It's like a giant gym sock everyhwere. Why? Japanese people for the most part, don't use anti-perspirant. Also, Japan is a completely coastal country, so it's always humid in the summer. Yamagata always gets the hottest yearly records for all of Japan. It'll get to 92-93 degrees there, with 60% humidity. If you don't know what that's like, it's like jumping out of a hot shower. You know how the bathroom's all steamy and muggy? Like that, but fully clothed.

Oh and Japan has no air conditioning at all. Specifically, Fenris' apartment had no air conditioning, but for the most part, most homes in Japan do NOT have central air. Think about that in your cool, comfortable 74 degree office at work. No air conditioning. Imagine it were still July. Would you want to kill yourself rather than sweat more? Yeah.

So, I'm a person who LOVES the cold. And I arrive with no AC anywhere. None in Tokyo's train station, none in the McDonalds where I ate lunch, none on the train ride to Yamagata, and certainly none in Fenris' apartment. I tell Fenris, "Dude, you've gotta get a fan or something." "Nah. I don't need it."

What the fuck?

He must've misspoken. Right? Nope, sadly, he considered a weak .5 mph breeze at night to be MORE than enough. Ugh. We needed to rectify this, if only so I don't hallucinate while sleeping on a floor mattress at 4 am about the sweat pouring off my legs being ants.

So, Fenris tells me about this store called JusCo, which is like a mashup of Wal-Mart and Costco.

We'd have to take a bus there, leave at 2pm, take the bus, ride back at 4:30. Mind you, this is after our excursion to Mt. Zao So I wanted to be VERY careful we made it back to the bus on time. We had 2:30 hours to blow on retail shopping, so I wasn't worried, plus we were in town, so what was the worst that could happen?

It was a short 20 minute bus ride to JusCo.

SHELL!?! WTF? I wasn't expecting Shell gas. I figured Gamera sold it or something...

We get to JusCo.

This place, like I said, is basically Wal-Mart and Costco crammed together, you can get everything you need here, and then get it all in bulk. We were really stopping here only so I could shoot all these pictures. We were getting the fan at Joy, the local hardware store.

First up was quick hit on the grocery area which was crammed full of people for a Sunday afternoon.

They have sushi departments like we have butcher departments.

Futon department. Where else would you get all your bedding needs taken care of?

Robot-toilet seat department. These are the overpriced toilet seats you hear about that sing, dance, launch fireworks, and make gulping noise when you poo.


Now wait a minute now. The Kimono department usually throws people off. Yeah. Kimonos in a department store. Weird. Anyway back to normalcy...

Uh, fireworks department? HOLY SHIT! WHAT ELSE COULD TOP THIS?!

btw, the signs there say, "don't take pictures!" yeah, okay...

So, we decide to head to the food court to get some lunch. I've already had my fill of Japanese McDonalds by this point, so I head to the next closest foreign food there.


Ladies and germs, today's Pepsi-owned KFC meal is provided to you by Coca-cola.

The Soda, 16 oz. size, aka Large

The chicken was awful. Worse than what we have here.

The biscuit? Served with Maple syrup no less.

After lunch, we headed over to the local electronics store, Super Denkodo. Think Best Buy meets CompUSA, meets bad LSD trip.



To be fair, it was basically priced about the same as what we'd pay here. Cheap ass computers, TV's, cameras, phones, etc. Basically, they were the same, but in Japanese and not English. It was all from China anyway...

Next up we went to Joy, which is like an ACE hardware/Wal-mart sporting goods store.

Joy's exterior reminded me of old hardware stores that kept wood and supplies out front.

Except it's bamboo instead of pine lumber.

Joy's garden department...

meh, we at least have soaker hoses...

So, we buy a nice big free standing fan for Fenris' apartment, then we decide to head back over to JusCo to wait on the bus back to his apartment. Just as we're leaving Joy, it starts to rain. Eh, I can tolerate it, so I don't mind so much.

That's when we see the JusCo bus leave the parking lot turning down the street headed away from us. We missed the bus again. This time by mere minutes. And in the rain no less. So, we head back into Jusco to wait out the rain, hoping for an eventual drizzle.

We waited for 30 minutes in the entry way, rained the whole time

Eventually we left, and it slowed from rain to a drizzle eventually. We had a 3 mile walk to the nearest train station. In the rain.

Some highlights on the walk to the station

MOS burger is the Japanese equivalent to Whataburger. Very tasty when you scrape the mayo off the burger

An hour later, we arrived at the train station, rode that sucker and we got back to the main station near Fenris' apartment. We get back to his place and we chill out with his brand new AC unit set to high. I slept that night.

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About BluDesignone of us since 11:49 AM on 11.10.2006

I own a FamPuter, which is a 100% fake Famicom. And I do own Super Mario Bros. and Rockman 2 for it, which you don't. :P

I'm a 34 year old gamer. I cannot hang out with most of you, and you should not contact me to buy you cheap wine or cigarettes. I do not like jail. Seriously, I own all three consoles and I don't discriminate. Gaming is for fun, not for sissy slapfights. If you consider yourself partial to a particular console, I don't care why you don't own other consoles, I don't want to hear about it. If you're going to bitch about something, you'd better bring some hard evidence of why you're complaining if you want to cry on my shoulder.

Enjoy this wonderful picture of 2 generations coming together at last...

PS - I eat trolls.

PPS - I've been to Japan. Maybe you've heard about it? If not, read up here:

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Yamagata's Hanagasa Festival
Part 3: Harajuku Girls and the lack thereof
Part 4: You're not in Kansas anymore, Niero (TGS07)
Part 5: Fresh from the farm to your mouth
Part 6: Going to Japan is hard
Part 7: 30 days takes forever
Part 8: Rape, Rocks, and Alliteration
Part 9: Small Town Nightlife
Part 10: Bling Bling, Hundred Thousand Yen Bill Ya'll
Part 10 Part 2: Mount Yamadera
Part 11: The Japanese Wal-Mart
Part 12: Goin' Down to Tokyo Town
Part 13: Ghiblit Gravy
Part 14: Air Sex
Part 15: Ganguros of New Tokyo
Part 16: The Contest Announcement
Part 17: The Contest
Part 18: The Trip Itinerary
Part 19: Tokyo Day 2
Part 20: Tokyo Day 2 Part 2 (of 2)
Part 21 is no longer there, but it wasn't all that great anyway, so you're not missing out.
Part 22: Happy Picture Montage Time!
Part 23: I have arrived.
Part 24: I have returned.
Part 25: The Case for the American Cheeseburger
Part 26: Random pictures are random
Part 27: A Free Gift for Those Who've Been Paying Attention
Part 28: Nintendo, no seriously, NINTENDO
Part 29: Racists in Japan, Discriminating against the handicapped
Special Report from Cheapy D at CAG
Part 30: The Secret Truth About Japan
Part 31: Oz-Matsuri
Part 32: The Japanese Don't Have Antiperspirant Deodorant

Part 33: There's this Disney character named Stitch in Japan...
Part 34: Trainspotting: Live From Kyoto
Part 35: Kyoto for Beginners
Part 36: Kyoto Smash: Advance Lesson in Fun Time
Part 37: Some Japanese people are alcoholics
Part 38: Hardcore Otaku know where the real action is
Part 40: My attempt at getting the Oscar for Best Japanese Picture
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 42: I sneak into a movie studio to pitch my movie
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 43: My film idea is shot down in favor of yet another Power Rangers TV show
Part 44: Excessive Male Nudity in Japan
Part 45: The Japanese grocery store has no deli counter
Part 46: How the Japanese language is worked into Japan's society
Part 47: Izukayas and you: How the Japanese drink in public
Part 48: All you really need to know about the Tokyo Auto Show
Part 49: Gyudon Rocks.
Part 50: Tendo is the coolest place in all of Japan
Part 51: I really did poop immediately after that shot
Part 52: A Beginner's Guide to Tokyo Disney Sea
Part 53: There is no comparison. Cheeseburgers win.
Part 55: You've never had Tonkatsu, so you wouldn't understand
Part 56: Japanese iTunes for the Mac addict
Part 57: The other kind of Curry
Part 58: Popular Pop and "Lock" music in Japan
Part 59: I sing like how cats have sex
Part 60: The Iron Penis Festival
Part 61: A sad bit about racism in Japan
Part 9001: Electro Lemon's whirlwind visit to Tokyo
Xbox LIVE:metalocalypse
PSN ID:BluDesign
Mii code:5154504518393743


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