Saturday was meant to start with an apartment viewing, which I was all geared up for. I met my real estate agent at our agreed place and walked to the apartment. All seemed to be going well, until we could not get into the see the place! Apparently the management company of the apartment misplaced the keys so that was the end of that. Better luck next time, is all I can think now.
After another lovely lunch at Hidamari Cafe (the cute little vegan place literally down the road that my supervisor took me to on my first day) it was time to get ready for the fireworks!
My lovely fellow Aussie JET friends and I had organised to meet at Tachikawa station at 5pm. Good plan right? It was thorough rookie mistake! There were literally thousands of people at that station on their way to the fireworks and there was no way we would be able to see one another in the crowds. By some miracle, we were all reunited and made our way to the park – rather we followed the many couples in their matching Yukatas.
We set up camp with our food and awesome picnic sheet and awaited the fireworks. They are definitely unlike anything I have ever seen.
Despite the number of people present at the fireworks, the way back home was surprisingly painless. What else is there to expect from the Japanese transport system. I only had to wait for one train to go as it was full and was able to get on the next one home.
Today I decided to go out exploring on my own – I googled which train to catch and how to walk from the station and I was armed and ready. All was going well until I realised my connecting train was not at the same station, but was a short walk away. After finding some free wifi, I made my way to the subway station successfully! Another small win!
I was following the google map directions (or a screenshot of it) but 20 minutes down the track I realised was totally going the wrong direction, so I ducked into a conbini and asked for directions. So, despite the rain and the heat and a little mishap later I did make it there!
The shrine was so peaceful (despite the cicadas) and there was hardly anyone around possibly due to the rain and the fact that it was a Sunday morning.
In the evening, I met up with my predecessor who was able to pass on some invaluable advice! We went to another vegan cafe in the area and then went to the local areas festival. It was definitely an experience, we were able to join in with the dancing and even had a go at the taiko drums!