Friday, March 16, 2007
Rather than continue on to Nagoya, I decided to take a quick side trip to Italy. I mean, Japan is great, but Italy, now that is one awesome country!
Let me back up. I got back on the train to at Maibara, but that far down the line from Kanazawa it was standing room only. Luckily, I got to stand next to a man who'd, at 1 in the afternoon, obviously been consuming more than his fair share of Asahi Super Dry. I saw him stagger down the hall to the snack cart, buy another can, and then stagger back to his spot. Yikes.
I met up with Liz (couchsurfer) at Nagoya station, and we decided to go to the port area for some tacos and to see the aquarium. It had been over a year since I'd been to Nagoyako, so I was looking forward to the trip. The redeveloped area is kind of silly, but I have to admit they've done a pretty good job. Of course, Osaka's port area is a little better, but I won't hold that against Nagoya!
The taco's were pretty good, but I was really eager to see the aquarium. Unfortunately, like everything else in Japan, the fish closed early. Yup, 5:00 PM, Saturday evening, was closing time. Now, I know that it was February, and not exactly peak season, but honestly, 5:00?!?!? On Saturday?!?!? That just boggles my mind. So with time on our hands we walked over to the Italian village, where you could cram an entire Italian vacation into about 30 overpriced minutes. We just wandered the streets and had a good time laughing about how it was all so real, yet so fake.
A trip up the ferris wheel also helped to quell my pangs of sorrow at the shuttered aquarium. The sunset, and the panoramic view of Nagoya was amazing.
It was a pretty windy day though, and while the car was very stable, it wasn't entirely stable. There was a bit of rocking back and forth, and the noise was actually quite loud. Poor Liz wasn't very fond of heights, and the racket and movement rather unnerved her. The glorious view helped make the experience worthwhile though!
It's been said before, but I'll say it again, Nagoya is a great city to live in, with lots to do and see. But as a tourist destination, it leaves a bit to be desired. Osaka does everything Nagoya does, but better. Well except for chicken wings, Nagoya has better chicken wings!