A few hours before my planned departure, my ride called and let me know that tires were taking up too much room. No room, okay. “Now what?” I thought to myself. Well, right after reading that text I rushed out to the living room to inquire with my room mates about the Shinkansen. I had packed about half of my gear earlier in the morning, so by this point I was just about done. I figured out where to take the Shinkansen from and headed out the door. I made sure to grab a few extra pieces of clothing in anticipation of the cold in Fukushima.
Luckily, there is a Bic Camera at one of the stops along the way, so I paused my journey quickly and hurried to the bottom floor to pick up some rolls of film and a new filter. I saved a bunch of money with my point card, like a boss…and then scrambled back onto the train platform to catch the short jump up to Tokyo Station.
At Tokyo Station I bought a reasonably sized BLT from Beck’s Coffee. I think the cute girl behind the counter gave me an extra big portion. Stoked on the meal, I sat in the waiting zone and chowed for 30 minutes until it was time to get on the Hayabusa Shinkansen. It’s the greenish one with a bubbly looking nose. Side note: Hayabusa means falcon in Japanese.
I took a window seat on the train, even though it was dark, and relaxed a little. I think it is the possibility that I might see something that attracts me to the window seats. At the second stop my aisle seat was taken by an older man, who I found out later had a hobby for flying gliders. He had been to America to fly them and spoke a little English, however, we talked mostly in Japanese. After what ended up being around two hours, I arrived at Koriyama station. A new town, and I had plenty of time. For starters I walked to the nearest convenience store to find a rain overcoat just in case the slight drizzle turned for the worst.
It was around 11:30 a.m., and I spent the next hour and a half wandering around searching for a family restaurant to relax in, or something hospitable. Turns out Mr. Donuts doesn’t stay open 24 hours, so that was a no go. I wasn’t expecting my ride to pick me up until four or five in the morning, so becoming a little desperate I turned to a stranger and asked for a recommendation of a place to rest until the early hours of the morning. The guy I asked turned out to be super cool. He told me about a place and even offered to walk with me to the place, which turned out to be a massive manga cafe. He helped me register and we parted our ways.
I slept on the couch in my cubicle until 4:30 a.m.. Larger manga cafes have areas where you can rent a small cubicle with internet and Tv, there usually is a drink bar which you have full access to and thousands upon thousands of manga to choose from. If you are ballin’ in a budget while traveling in Japan this is definitely one way to get some rest for around 15 bucks per night. Might not be the most comfortable but enough to get a wink of sleep. I woke with a slightly kinked neck (as mentioned, not always so comfortable depending on where you go) and headed to get a bite to eat at local 24 hour beef bowl chain restaurant.