Best and Worst

Tours 2-4

Most Difficult Day
Worst Journey by Train

Five HRCs In One Day

I don't think I can find the words to properly convey just how difficult this day was.  In the few minutes it takes you to read this, as you sit comfortably in front of your computer or in an Internet cafe, you just won't be able to imagine what we endured – just to collect five little souvenirs.

The idea came to me after we decided to go from Japan to Shanghai, China by ship instead of by plane.  Actually, this decision was made for us when we realized that all flights to Shanghai we booked until the middle of February – due to the Chinese New Year.  Our ship would depart from Kobe (near Osaka) and we would have to go there from Tokyo the day before our ship sailed.

At first I thought about just visiting the HRCs in Osaka and Kobe – but then Kumiko informed me that Yokohama and Nagoya were both on the way to Osaka.  That added two more HRCs to our list.  Then we found out that there was another HRC in Osaka – this one in Universal City.

Our day went something like this...

  • 06:30 – Got up; showered; had breakfast.
  • 09:22 – Train from Warabi to Yokohama (the HRC in Yokohama didn't open until 11:00, so no sense starting out too early).
  • 11:03 – Arrived at HRC-Yokohama; bought pins.
  • 11:40 – Train to Nagoya.  This was the Shinkansen (high-speed train) that would get us to Nagoya by 13:28.  Unfortunately, we got on the Shinkansen that departed three minutes before the one we should have been on and, even though it was called the "super express", it stopped at every station along the way, arriving more than an hour later.
  • 14:40 – Arrived in Nagoya; met our friend, Ayako; went to HRC; bought pins; had lunch at a restaurant that specialized in Nagoya-style noodles; said "bye" to Ayako.
  • 16:40 – Train to Maibara.
  • 18:02 – Train to Osaka.
  • 19:15 – Arrived at HRC-Osaka; bought pins.
  • 19:50 – Subway/train/train to Universal City (Osaka).
  • 20:40 – Arrived at HRC-Universal City; bought pins.
  • 21:06 – Train/train to Kobe.
  • 22:00 – Arrived at HRC-Kobe; bought pins; got boxes to ship them home in; chatted with the girls at the souvenir shop.
  • 22:45 – Arrived at our hotel in Kobe – having missed dinner.

As if this day wasn't difficult enough – we did it all while carrying our back packs – and mine weighed more than 20 kg (44+ pounds).  To top it all off, I was in the worst stage of a severe cold.  At the end of the day, I had to explain to Kumiko the meaning of the phrase: "...bit off more than we could chew."