So Jeroen arrived in Nagoya this afternoon (he couldn’t get an earlier Shinkansen ride from Tokyo because of the Golden Week crowds), and after he checked in at his hotel, Maiko and I took him to the Midland Square building. First, we had some coffee and ice-cream at Dean & Deluca’s in the basement, because it’s seems impossibly hard to find a nice place to have a drink outside in the sun like in Europe. Then we took Jeroen to the top of Nagoya’s tallest building to admire the view of Nagoya from Midland Square’s Sky Promenade. I’d been there once before at night, and the lights make the city look very pretty, but during the day it’s more impressive because you can see more.
We wanted to give Jeroen a total Japanese experience in his short stay, so next stop was a temple in Osu Kannon. A temple is always a nice display of old Japanese architecture, which looks a thousand times better and more impressive than most after-war office buildings and houses. Jeroen threw a lucky 5 yen coin into the temple’s bank account and rung a bell, then Maiko helped him lit a candle before he made a wish and put it in the candle cabinet, and he also managed to burn some incense (with great effort) outside in order to inhale the smart-making smoke afterwards (still not sure if this is exactly healthy). It was a quick but satisfying visit to old Japan.
After old Japan, it was time for new Japan, in Sakae, Nagoya’s downtown area. We strolled around on Oasis’ water roof with a nice view of the imitation Eiffel Tower, under which we discovered actual chairs and tables to sit and enjoy a drink in the fresh air. Why this is such a scarcity here puzzles me, the Japanese seem to prefer inside and underground life, which is just way too claustrophobic to me, even though I’m a city girl and not a country girl. Anyway, Jeroen spotted Sunshine Sakae’s Ferris Wheel, and we went for a ride on it. I’ve seen it many times, but had never been on it before and it surprisingly high. Actually, I’m terribly afraid of heights, but the many glass elevators on extremely tall Japanese buildings have trained me to feel a little more comfortable with heights, so I can enjoy things like high Ferris Wheels and glass elevators now. After our purikura adventure, we went for dinner at Kushiya, the kushiage restaurant Yasu and I discovered a while back. It was another fun and great dinner, even though we all smelled like deep-frying pans afterwards.
Maiko and I wanted to take Jeroen for an hour of karaoke after dinner, but Jeroen didn’t really like the idea of singing out loud in front of us. I don’t blame him, the first time I went to karaoke, I also really didn’t want to and I promised the others I wasn’t going to sing, because who wants to hear my horrible voice enlarged on the sound box? But after observing Japanese people enjoy karaoke so intensely for about 2 hours, I couldn’t help myself and had to try it, and I’ve loved it ever since, in spite of my being shy. Maybe, I didn’t explain well enough to Jeroen, that he wouldn’t be singing in a bar but in a tiny room with just us… Well, too late now. Tomorrow, he’ll be visiting me in Inuyama where there are no decent karaoke opportunities anyway.