After our lovely visit with Jay in Aizu, Mayu and I headed back to Tokyo to see one night of the Sumo tournament at the Kokugikan in Ryogoku. I made it in time for the last 2 hours of matches and was thoroughly fascinated with the whole event. I got to witness a somewhat rare occurance, also: in the last bout of the night, the only Yokozuna fell to his opponent, causing the crowd to throw their seat cushions into the dohyo. Having risen early to travel all day, I was tired and checked back into Hotel Hikari (where I am now a regular) for one night.
The next morning we left for Osaka, with a planned stop in Nagoya to meet up with Yu, a friend of Mayu’s. On the way there I finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel, a great book given to me by Jay. When we arrived in Nagoya, Yu showed us around a bit and took us to restaurant where we had some fantastic misokatsu (a local specialty: tonkatsu prepared with a special miso sauce). The streets in Nagoya are noticably wider and there are more cars than in Tokyo. Yu said it’s because Toyota has a strong presence there (and are moving their headquarters there soon). He pointed out that more than half of the cars of the city are Toyotas. I also noticed quite a bit more Nihonglish (Engrish) around town than most other places. After a few hours in Nagoya, we continued toward Osaka. On the way, I bought a copy of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Hakuri Murakami on recommendations from Jay’s friend Daniel and Mayu and started reading it. Now I can’t put it down!
This post is split up to allow for different locations on the travelogue map. This one is set in Nagoya.