So today was a konbini bento day. I bought (and ate) my very first konbini bento!
I went to a supermarket somewhere around 3 pm because I read that that this is when there are “bento special offers” (apparently, bento boxes are prepared twice a day: for lunch – 12 to 1 pm – and for dinner – 6 to 8 pm – and there are special offers for them around 2/3 pm and 9 pm).
Anyway, the one that I bought was really good (yay!), but (of course) there were many parts of it that I did not recognize (even after eating them). And I had some trouble heating it up. Do you heat up something that’s meant to be eaten cold (or at room temperature)? Or maybe eat everything cold? After some careful deliberation, I decided that I want my bento hot, removed some parts that seemed like “eat-me-cold”, and microwaved the rest for 1 minute. Everything tasted good, so I guess this was the best course of action 🙂
Hello, World! The way you’ve been shaking lately, you should probably try and relax a bit.
But seriously, the ground’s been shaking since an early morning today, with two magnitude 3 and 4 quakes at 05:24 am and 08:35 am and lots of aftershocks. Strong enough to keep me awake from 5 to 10 (not because I was afraid but because every tremor would wake me up – it was like sleeping on a waterbed), so now I’m so sleepy! I wonder if September’s always like that here (and by like that I mean with daily quakes).
Anyway, yesterday was interesting! Ever heard about the Japan Rail Pass? It is this awesome ticket-thingy that you can order only if you are not Japanese and when you are still abroad. I usually use this website because it’s cheaper than buying it in Poland. I have no idea why. So I got mine in July:
… and yesterday I went to one of the main JR Pass exchange offices in Tokyo to, well, exchange the order for my pass. I chose Tokyo Station JR Pass exchange office because it was close to my route to Nakano. Going to Tokyo Station was a piece of cake. Finding the office – not so much. I got lost at least three times, asked some foreigners checking their JR Passes for help (unfortunately, they exchanged theirs at Narita, but good luck we’re sure it’s here somewhere), and finally used my final weapon: finding main entrance. It worked – office is next to the central north gate 🙂
I have to say that JR personnel is not only very nice but also knowledgeable. And they speak English very well! Exchanging my order for the pass took me less than five minutes. I was also given simple and easy-to-follow directions to the nearest currency exchange office with good US dollar exchange rates (they had terrible PLN exchange rates, thank goodness I did not bring any Polish currency!).
JR Pass (front)
JR Pass (back)
One more very important thing about the JR Pass: if you have it, you can use all Shinkansen (fast trains) (except Nozomi and Mizuho lines), local and express JR lines (similar to subway lines), lots of various JR buses, monorail to Haneda Airport, and JR line to Narita Airport – for free. As you can see, I’m a fan 😉
So after I got my JR Pass I went to Nakano Broadway. It’s a shopping mall of sorts, with lots of small shops for different subcultures.
This was my second time here, so I wasn’t that overwhelmed anymore and this time I bought some stuff I’m really happy about 🙂
As I wrote in my previous post, I took the wrong train home and spent lot of time riding the subway. Well, it happens to the best of us 😉 But thanks to that I met a new neighbor (girl from Colorado) who reads Japanese a bit, she helped me find butter at the konbini.
I also got (and ate) delicious soba – used it as an opportunity to practice my chopsticks skills (you know, practice makes perfect…) 🙂
Rain stopped so I went out and found a convenience store (konbini) next to my subway station (Monzen-nakacho), which is awesome. The store is big and well-stocked (especially with fish and seafood) so I managed to find a dairy section with lots of western-looking products. And this is probably where I should point out that I was looking for milk because that’s how I like my coffee: with milk. So I found almond milk (so expensive!) and soy milk (I’m not a fan) standing next to something much cheaper and non-fat-milk-looking:
Bought it together with a bunch of other “normal” products (water, cheese, bread, pancakes) and went home to my coffee (I brought it with me from Poland). Fortunately, I opened the alleged “milk” first. Yeah, that’s not milk. That’s sweet yogurt. It’s quite tasty but there will be no coffee today. And tomorrow I’ll probably just buy a can of hot coffee from a vending machine downstairs (I love vending machines!) because I want to walk around my neighborhood and visit some of my favorite places that are conveniently nearby.
And that’s what google translate tells me about my not-milk:
to improve the intestinal environment, established a tone of intestines