Today is shopping day, the most expensive day in the year. Winter jacket, gloves, funtional clothes for the winter. $470 are changing the owner. On the other side, this is the first winter clothes shopping since 2003.
Next stop is the health insurance office to get the famous Auslandskrankenschein. But for Japan this thing is not workung. I need a special insurance for that. Not a biggy. Just $10 for 1 year. Next stop is the bank. I need some Yen. But the exchange rate is worse than in the internet and they add several fees. I pick up 6000yen. That should be enough to get to the next ATM. There are no fees if I use my credit card.
And a stop at the pharmacy. I need some emergency equipment of drug. Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Laporamid, ACC, vitamines. Everything to stop an upcoming cold. Usually I don’t carry this stuff with me, but is no summer vacation at the beach. This time I stay during winter time in houses without central heating. There will be several hikings in the snow and some onsen. If I am not careful, I will end up with a cold, or worse.
Back at home, I check the KLM web page. I book a second bag for the flight back. This is cheaper than paying extra for overweight. And I still want to pick up me Kendo equipment and my tripod. Now I have to buy this second bag. It has to be something that is long enough for the Shinais, still has space for 15kg souvenirs, and fits into my duffel bag on the way to Japan.
Somthing else? Yes. Reserve the bus in Japan. So I wait until midnight. With the time shift it is 8am in the morning in Japan. The office of Nohi Bus should be open by now. The number is dialed. The “Hello my name is …” was easy. That much Japanese I can speak. The question if the other side is speaking english was negated. Ups. Now it gets complicated. But I think I can do it. After a few minutes I have booked a bus from Kanagawa to Shirakawa and from Shirakawa to Takayama … I hope. At least I have two reservation numbers. I don’t know if everything is correct. I will find out in Japan.