It's been raining all week, actually -- I'm sick of the rain. And that's one thing that really does suck about Japan, because it rains a lot, all-day kind of endless rain, and the rain is really annoying when you spend so much time walking through it.
Had a pretty good Golden Week, I have to admit, which makes it harder that it's over. Went to two baseball games, and now that I've managed it, I have to admit that I really like Japanese baseball games, and it's really because of the crazy fans. The first game was in Chiba Lotte Marine Stadium or whatever they call it (in, er, Chiba), and it rained and rained, although they managed to get five innings in for a win for the Hams, er, Fighters. I was in the Hams cheering section (went with a group of other gaijin, a couple of which were Hams fans), and the Japanese fans were loud and crazy. Although the Marines fans had this crazy "vampire hop" they did (which totally reminded us of those HK vampire movies, frex, Mr. Vampire).
Next day we went to the Seibu Lions Dome in Saitama (where it was raining again, but this time it was a covered stadium with a short walk from the station. It's very convenient, I suppose, when you not only own the team and the stadium but a rail line, and can just build a spur to your stadium). My Eagles continued to kick ass (6-3 over the hated Lions, whose beady-eyed players stare at me during my commute every day in Ikebukuro station on the Seibu line... Making it 18-10 for the Eagles on the year, a two game lead in the Pacific League, and the most wins of any team in Japan ball. I was somewhat unsuccessful in getting Eagles stuff, though -- I really wanted a hat, but they were sold out, and all I got was another strap for my bag).
So, that's two stadiums down -- now I want to go to all of them. Just barely missed Yokohama Stadium, as some of you might remember, but I can get five stadiums more or less around Tokyo here.
Anyway, yesterday was a really nice day, what with seeing the game, going to a really great Indian restaurant after (the food was soooooo hot and delicious), and general hanging out with the girlfriend. Also dropped by Book Off and got a couple odd things (an interesting-looking-probably-bad-Samurai-m
Let's see, other adventures -- oh, yeah, day before was really nice, too. After the game in Chiba (which despite the rain was still fun) did this going away party thing for one of the people involved at a nice Israeli restaurant near where I live (out the Seibu Ikebukuro line three stops). Of course, the rapid trains don't stop there, and I wasn't paying sufficient attention when I got on the local train to realize I was going to the wrong place (because, well, I never ride the locals). It was only a minor inconvenience, though (the spur only has one station, just hopped the train back to Nerima and headed back out again), and ended up chatting with a nice Australian fellow who made the same mistake. He'd been in Tokyo for 18 months, but only out here for three days, so (with the help of Hyperdia on the iPhone), I got us both back to civilization without further incident.
Day before was a Golden Week BBQ with the Nippon2007 guys, which was good, too. Good weather for that, though.
And one last thing:
If there's one station that's insanely difficult to navigate due to crowds, it's Harajuku on the weekends. They probably can't expand it at all, but it could really use some. I need to finally learn my lesson and stay away from there. If I'm going to visit Meiji Jingu, it should be on weekdays... It's less crowded at the shrine then anyway.