Day 6: The not-so-Secret Tanuki Garden

Thursday, August 28

All of the orientation events ended by 2 PM, so I fugured it was a good opportunity to take a better look around the area near campus and try walking to the Hirakata-shi station.

Which is exactly why it absolutely had to rain that day. To be fair, it stopped raining very quickly, so I continued with my schedule regardless.


But before we get there, there’s a few interesting things I’d like to go over.

Told you all I wear is blue. Featuring kiddy-umbrella!

I don’t know about other people, but I have never seen those odd soap orbs. How do you use one? Well, I tried hitting it from the top, spinning the top half of the orb, waving my hand under it in hopes of triggering some sort of a sensor… nothing worked.

Finally, I was told you had to press your hand against the metallic nozzle underneath, which I probably would never have figured out on my own. Worst part is, I asked multiple local and international students before finally getting the answer and none of them knew how to use the thing, meaning most people here probably don’t wash their hands with soap. Welp, no more handshakes from now on.

Another interesting bathroom-thing I’ve only seen here in Japan is this sensor that plays the sound of a flushing toilet for those that are embarrassed and want to cover up other noise, I guess?

Anyhow, time to get to the main topic.

Adorable mini-bridge

Finally went towards the main gate and found this odd little area. So, here’s some awful photos to show you around!

Clearly, white balance isn’t the only thing I do wrong.
Another tiny bridge!
At this point mosquitos were all over me and I decided a better picture was not the extra bites. But hey, the hidden tanuki :D

That was an odd little distraction. MOVING ON!

Finally heading back toward the center of the campus to leave via the main gate, which I completely forgot to take a picture of.

Cute animals along the sidewalk. Because Japan is great.

Navigation is really great in this area. You walk out of campus and just follow the main road either left (to the seminar houses) or right (to Hirakata-shi).

I actually went left first to check out some of the convenience stores and to drop by the pharmacy.

Family Mart!

I didn’t actually buy anything pictures above at Family Mart, not even the green tea ice cream sandwich, which seemed really great. However, I did get an onigiri to eat later.

Kirindo! A pharmacy in the American meaning of the world :P
You made it, Listerine!
And so did the EOS lip balm, kind of ;p Also, everything has a tiny sample you can smell, so no opening of everything like in CVS!
“Elegenat”. Bought myself a mask, though, we’re expected to wear one if we get sick.
Matcha (which I couldn’t find anywhere in Moscow) and tea, also adult diapers.

Okay, now we’re ready to walk to the bus/train station!

Cute flower shop on the way.

I stopped at a tiny book store on the way and saw that they had a small selection of comics. Made the mistake of asking the old lady that works there if she had Doraemon. She then spent like 5 minutes looking around and even called her husband from the back of the store to help. Awkward. But hey, some Japanese practice?

Guess Rurouni Kenshin’s getting a live-action film? I CAN’T READ THIS MUCH KANJI!

Then I walked more…

Like I said, just follow the road. Except, there’s not much room to walk and cars and bicycles keep whooshing past. Also featuring kiddy-umbrella.

And then some more…

View from the bridge.

Finally reached the bridge over to the area around the station!

Saw the “infamous” Mos Burger that most people that study Japanese using Genki textbooks will probably know from one of the dialogues. Remember when Mary was mad at Takeshi for not meeting her at McDonalds and it turned out he thought she meant Mos Burger? No? Okay. In any case, I had no idea this was actually a legit place and not a lame textbook joke of some sort.

Made me think of my Scandinavian Lit professor.

Didn’t take pictures of the entrance, but this is inside the… K-store? Not Kmart, but some combination of Keihan and shop that I forgot.

Found One Piece! hard not to when the villains are painted on the bloody wall xD
Not sure what’s up with the Shiba Inu ads, but they reminded me of my Akita Inu, so I took a picture to show my parents.
Really liked the makeup-remover and was thoroughly confused by the Kenshin… bees?

I did some shopping and decided to head back home by bus to away having to carry my bags uphill. Wasn’t sure if I got on the right bus, so I asked an old man in line if it was going to Kansai Gaidai. He said yes and told me to ask the driver to make sure, and when he saw I was just gonna take his word for it he actually asked the driver himself, which was nice!

I didn’t take the bus straight to the seminar house because I had to take care of some stuff on campus, but then I walked home and took some pictures of the day’s purchases:

Onigiri from Family Mart!
Ziploc bags, batteries, mask, Listerine (You Made it! (c)), ??? (yep, I bought something and I’m not quite sure what it is), bug spray, bandaids for megablisters.
Two manga volumes, some cute stationary, green tea chocolate, cardkey-holder, a fan and dried squid. Well, and a better look at the fan! ☺

Finally home, time to end the day with snacks!

Yummy pudding.

Great day.

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