Oniko's Travel Diary:
The Three Mountains

(August 5-31, 1998)

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Wednesday August 19th, 1998
Got up and out early; I mailed off all the stuff I had packed up, then I took a little side trip back out to Hibarigaoka. I'll be leaving Tokyo proper this afternoon, and can't guarentee I'll have a chance to get back to Hibarigaoka before I have to head home, so I wanted to get some books I saw there and mail them off while I had a chance. By eleven o'clock I had found the two titles I wanted: 3x3 Eyes #1-26, a fantasy story full of bizarre Buddhist mysticism, and Beautiful Soldier Sailor Moon #1-18, the comic that the popular TV series was based on. I toted them all down to the nearest post office (one I used in 1990, by the way) and got them all mailed off so I didn't have to carry them.
Having finished that little job, I hopped on the trains back to the Tokyo ward JR station to get on the Shinkansen, the famous "bullet train" that travels over three-hundred miles per hour. My JR pass entitles me to sit in an unresearved seat for free, so I was able to cover the dizzying distance between Tokyo Prefecture and Shizuoka Prefecture, home of Mount Fuji, in just under an hour.
Now, the Shinkansen is fast because it has very few places it stops; it couldn't take me to my actual goal, Mount Fuji, directly. The closest point it could get me to was a town called Mishima... from here, I have to take local trains to reach Fuji. But it wasn't in the cards for today.
I arrived in Mishima at about four o'clock, and then switched over to the local train I would need after decyphering the rail charts. And it was about two hours later that I, and everyone else, finally gave up sitting in the train and waiting. I found out later that there had been a car accident on the tracks just outside of town, which is why the train never moved.
By the time I gave up waiting it was officially late enough that I needed to find a hotel, so I walked up the largest street leading away from the station until I saw something. That something turned out to be the dubious Business Hotel Mishima. I thought it was an odd name at the time, but a business hotel was definitely what I needed -- and it was getting dark -- so in I went. The prices were reasonable -- about $50 a night -- so that's where I settled in for the night.
As soon as I saw my room, I understood why the owners had chosen such a descriptive name for the hotel. The room was cheap, the TV had porn available for a coin an hour, and there were two sets of slippers, two toothbrushes, and two sets of towels... in a "single" room. The hotel is a converted "love" hotel, sporting "Business Hotel" in the name to look more respectable and to get more business. There are a lot of hotels in Tokyo that have separate rates for both business and pleasure stays, but these are right up front about it; Business Hotel Mishima definitely felt like it was trying to hide the fact it was used as a love hotel. Makes no difference to me, though... a room's a room when you have to sleep.
I did take a brief walk around the immediate area before calling it a night, though. I found a convenience store and picked up a dinner, and found a temple nearby that I would like to visit tomorrow. There was a little rain, not a lot, but lots of lightning and thunder right overhead... you know I liked it. Anyway, I'm tucked in now, had my dinner, and I'm watching one of the new animated episodes of a manga classic, Dr. Slump by Akira Toriyama; so NOW I'm calling it a night.

On to August 20th, 1998

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