Japan Misadventures

Despite promising tales of international misadventure in my About page, I rarely deliver. So it’s time for a JSP story, dating all the way back to fall 2008!

About six weeks into JSP, my friend Annie and I decided to visit one of Kawagoe’s public bathhouses. We didn’t know where it was, though, so we asked around and, armed with directions, set off. Only to discover that the directions sucked. The bus part was okay, but when we got off the bathhouse was nowhere in sight. So we walked a bit, realized we had no idea where we were, and went into a convenience store to get help. Conbini lady was nice and gave us new directions, which also sucked. So we tried a golf supply store and finally got help that, well, helped. Third time’s the charm?

The bathhouse itself was great, but the adventure wasn’t over. Not by far. Before we left, we asked a bathhouse employee where we could get the bus to Kawagoe Station. We confirmed her answer twice. Her answer was wrong.

First we couldn’t find the stop, so we went into a restaurant to ask yet another hapless Japanese person for help. Then, as we neared the stop, on the wrong side of the street, the bus came. So we recklessly took a break in the traffic as a chance to race across four lanes to catch it. All was well. Or not.

I got up about two minutes later to ask the driver if we were in fact going to Kawagoe Station. He kind of smiled and shook his head.

I cracked up.

Annie despaired.

The driver told us to wait.

So we waited. And waited. And waited some more, long past the last stop on the route. By then we’d realised that we were in Sakado. Sakado is not in Kawagoe. I was still laughing helplessly, Annie was still despairing, we were both wondering where we were being taken and whether we should start panicking.

As it turned out, the driver was kindly taking us to a bus depot where we were able to finally get one back to Kawagoe. So we went to Italian Tomato (best chain ever) before heading home, after dark and much later than planned.

It wasn’t our best day, but hey, at least the bath was nice.

The inside of Kawagoe Station. Photo borrowed from Wikipedia because I apparently have never taken one.

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