Returning home to Chiba-ken

18 08 2009

Today we had a really long train journey ahead of us. With the help of the hyperpia website we planned our transfers – most were only a few minutes long and not even enough time for a toilet stop.

We went from Uzumasa to Kyoto, Kyoto to Maibara then Ogaki, Toyohashi, Hamamatsu, Okitsu, Atami, Kawasaki and to Tachikawa. Perhaps because it was the end of O-bon the trains were extra busy with people returning home. On some stretches we didn’t even get seats and had to stand up with our luggage. It made for a tiring day, even if the trains were air-conditioned. It was just as well we had packed our bento the night before otherwise we wouldn’t have had time to buy any food for lunch without missing a transfer. We bought an eigo no shinbun (English newspaper, The Japan Times) and read it on the train then did the crossword together on the way home to Kisarazu.

We went a little out of our way to Tachikawa, to the west of Tokyo, as there was a vegetarian taiwanese/chinese place in the station building, Chein Fu. We had tried to go to the Nagoyan branch but it had closed. We were looking forward to dinner and it was fairly good. We had wontons with vegetables, black soybean tofu, cashew and pineapple konyaku ‘prawns’ and guava juice.

Then we still had about 1/5-2 hours on the train to go back to Tokyo, through Soga and onto Kisarazu. Half the people in our carriage had come from Tokyo Disneyland and had Disney popcorn, bags and toys with them. We caught a taxi home from the station as the last bus had already gone. The taxi cost three-quarters of what it cost us to travel by train all the way from Kyoto to Kisarazu. That is, 10 hours of train travel almost 600km cost the same as a 10 minute taxi ride travelling about 5 km. Just goes to show the value for money of the seishun 18 kippu.