Anyways, I played my tournament but got knocked out well before the payout positions. This was a free tournament to win a spot in another tournament, which in turn lead to another tournament. I was more interested in just playing than winning. During a break in the playing I ran down the street to the 7-11 a picked up two things of pasta and some more melon soda. When I came back I found an episode of CSI on TV with the original english language. Kinda nice to see something in english. After CSI there was an episode of the A-Team, but by that time the cleaning lady had arrived and was making a bit of a racket so I retreated into my room. I finally decided to go out for at least a few hours and just walk around Itabashi.
I headed out from my house and went down the opposite way until I came upon an elevated freeway. I decided to follow the freeway and started walking. I really do enjoy walking around this city. I just wish that my feet could hold up to all of the walking without constantly hurting. Seeing the little back alleys, the areas that most foreigners never see just makes me happy. Before I knew it, I had walked for over and hour and my foot still wasn't hurting. I knew this could not last, so I knew that I either needed to start walking back or go forward for a while longer until I came to Itabashi. Naturally, my curiosity got the better of me and I continued walking. Shortly after my feet began to hurt so I was forced to stop frequently and let them rest. It was during this time I stumbled upon a temple/shrine right along the street. It was an area of tranquility in a city of noise and I loved it. I love coming across little shrines here and there, tucked away in random areas or in high traffic zones.
Not too longer after I left the shrine I came upon the final approach to Ikebukuro. This station is, evidently, second only to Shibuya in terms of number of people who pass through it every day. By this time my feet were really starting to hurt me so I just walked for a few minutes and found a place to eat. The curry was pretty decent but it upset my stomach later. The curry here in Japan is always a game of chance: usually you'll win but sometimes you lose big time. While I was trying to leave one of the announcer guys decided to try out his few english phrases on me: "Hello", "How are you?" and "It was nice to meet you". Mind you, those three phrases came one right after the other, without any real pause. Made my way through the station, limping quite badly and got on the train home. Got home around 6:30pm and loaded up Winamp to find some online TV that I could watch. Thanks to that, I was able to stay awake until after 11pm before going to sleep. I only wish that I had a desk in my room, because my butt is starting to hurt from all the sitting down in bed.
The last item of note for the day was the earthquake that took place around 3am. I was already awake due to the local cats making a racket. I think a female was in heat and being pursued by a male or two, and their chase was broadbast right outside my window. Shortly after that disturbance, I felt the ground start to shake back and forth for at least a good ten seconds. That was the first earthquake I have ever experienced in Japan and with any luck, it will also be my last.
Photos for January 15th, 2007