Yokohama to Shinagawa
Trip Start Dec 02, 2008
10Trip End Jan 20, 2009
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I did have one serious issue that could cause some problems:
My ATM Card had expired while I was crossing the Pacific. I have never before set up a cash advance before so I didn't have a PIN attached with it. There was no way to generate a PIN unless I could get to a Bank of America Banking Center which does not have a branch in Japan. What a pain. I argued with the card companies over Skype for about an hour but basically, It looked like I was borrowing until Karla got here in four days with my ATM card. Tim lent me a little money and thank god he did because it's so hard to buy anything in Japan without cash. Only one type of quick market accepts credit cards. 7-Elevens are Cash only and so is McDonalds. Visa says that they're "everywhere you want to be" but I remembered from last time I was in Japan how much of a Cash-and-Carry society they really are. Luckily the Shinkansen bullet train and a couple of taxi's would take it so I managed to get around.
Keith, Wayne, took the train around Tokyo that afternoon. Two areas we ended up in were Akihabara and Ochanomisu. Both large districts full of electronics and musical instuments. Unlike other types of cities, Tokyo is set up so that all of one type of store are arranged next to each other. One would think that this would create a lot of competition and drive competion and drive prices down. But perhaps being such a large metropolis, having the right location is everything because the locals know which district sells what. If you're buying fish, go to the fish market, if your buying a computer, go to the electronics district. I guess it makes sense.
Colin had called ahead and touched base with the Nippon Kaiyo guys from the boat and we arranged to meet that evening for beers and dinner. We went to a nice restaurant in the basement of the Prince complex and had some awesome authentic Japanese food.
The next day we slept in. Wayne caught his plane and went back home to Canada. Keith and Kelly went sight seeing. Tim and I walked around a bit in the afternoon. For dinner that night I met Kelly and Keith with Oda San from Nippon Kaiyo and we went to Sushi by the hotel. I'm not a fan really of sushi but I thought that I'd eat just a little to be polite. It turned out that this sushi was AWESOME!
After dinner we stayed in, went bowling in the two-story bowling alley at the Prince hotel. And ended up hanging out making a ruckus in Colin's room all night. The rest of the crew was leaving tomorrow and I was going to Kyoto until Karla got here. We said our good-byes and I packed my bags for an early departure the next day. The Unity job was officially over and done with. I consider it a wonderful success and I really hope to get the chance to do more Williamson jobs in the future. They're a great company to work for and I would go anywhere, any time with Colin and Mike. Thanks guys if you read this!
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Where I stayed