Saturday, April 02, 2016

Tokyo to Hiroshima

We left our hotel room with the heated toilets and fog-prevention spot in our mirror and walked about 5 miles from Asakusa to Tokyo station with little direction. We were proud to have the station and we got to see some different neighborhoods. Kando was colorful in a cartoonish way. Around Tokya station, were sterile modern building signifying a financial district.

We became frustrated in the station when we saw miles of restaurants, but Candaxe wanted a bento nox for thevtrain. We finally decided to go to the train. An attendant stopped us and pointed to the scooter. He had such a pained look as he tried to muster up the English words to tell us something. Finally he called the big dogs, a man who pointed at Candace's scooter/wheelchair and said, "This, no."

We somehow convinced thwm that taking to scooter wouldn't be a problem. But Tokyo station, to get on the bullet train, was not handicap accessible. There were stairs and an escalator, but no elevator. I first took the luggage up the escalator and then ran down the stairs. I then grabbed Candace and made sure the escalator wouldn't decapitate her (a real possibility). Then I ran down the stairs again. When I went to bring up the scooter, our non-English speaking friend reappeared. He again tried to tell me something, but I was too busy positioning the scooter on the escalator to feign politeness.

We made it! We were at the track! Except that our same friend tried to tell us something else. We listened, but no English words came. So we walked and quickly realuzed there was an even larger set of stairs and escalator. So I did it all again. We mad e it and even found a stand selling bento boxes!

There was a handicap designator car, but our agent had put us elsewhere. It was four minutes before our train was to depart an  the doors hadn't evn opened. When the opened, I scrambled to get all our stuff on board, but had no idea where to put the scooter. Candace suggested the seats behind us, which worked until the next stop. Then I took it out of our car just next to the trash can and that worked for awhile.

As we got closer to Osaka, our transfer point, the seat brhind us became empty, so I put the scooter back thrre. A worker onboard pointed to the scooter and crossed hand exclaiming, No!" He then wrote, "station staff" in English on a piece of paper.

When we got to Osaka, station staff escorted us to our next train. It was a whole production. It was nice to know the staff would make sure we got on the right train, but they really just slowed us down. I ha  to wheel the scooter for some reason, which was extra annoying because it locks if you go too fast. The staff really looked out for us. They counted our luggage multiple times even though there is virtually no crime here.

When we got Hiroshima, the same the happened with fifferent staff. These stations were accessible. We're still not sure what the deal was. Maybe electric "vehicles" are not allowed in the station, but that would be ridiculois. This scooter/wheelchair can't go faster than a pedestrian. At the end, it seemed like the guy in charge of letting us leave had a problem with us not paying to bring the scooter, but a staff member set him straight.

It was an odd experience. We were accused of doing something wrong, which offended us, but were treated like VIPs at the same time.

We gound the right way to go in Hiroshima, but the scooter ran out if charge halfway on the two mile walk. So I pushed until we found an unattended outlet on the side of a building and clandettinely charged the chair.

We found the hotel, got some good curry for dinner, and bought candy from 7-11.

On the bullet train, which felt like we were on a plane on a runway about to take off, I noticed the constant stream of cities along the route. I also noticed a lot of solar panels on people's houses. I also saw the solar arc as we raced by Gifu. It was quite the site.

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