We went to Nagoya because…why did we go to Nagoya again?
Oh yeah, it was a nonstop trip on the Shinkansen and Hubby had found out that they have a museum of old relocated buildings from the Meiji period. That means that they have disassembled, moved, and reassembled dozens of buildings from all over Japan in the hills outside Nagoya. Let me tell you, it was a sight to behold!
When I checked the weather for Nagoya, it said, “sun!” so I was excited. We would roll into Nagoya and then head off for the museum – the Meiji Mura museum. Kiddo would run around. We would eat some fun food, and then we would come home and hang out in the Richmond Hotel, which we loved when we were in Nagasaki.
Unfortunately, I had accidently checked the weather for another town/the weather forecast was very wrong, and it was a miserable day. We took a taxi to the hotel from the train station, got all our crap out of the car and into the lobby, and were informed by an unapologetic staff member that the check in time was not for an hour. Ok, fine, we anyway needed to go to the museum, so, could she please tell us where it was? Oh yes, just an hour away by subway and train and bus. Say, what!?
We hemmed and hawed for a minute, maybe we should just hang out in the room. Naw, we came to Nagoya to see this dang museum, we could make it there, even if it involved navigating a lot of Japanese in the rain. Which it did. We ended up taking a taxi back to the station to start with, because we didn’t want to waste more time. It was already 1:15, and the museum closed at 5pm. The train we had to take next was a private line, so we had to pay extra and couldn’t use our Japan Rail Passes. No worries. We paid our money and got directed towards the right track, although nothing was in English so we asked a couple of people to be sure. The train ride was pretty long – about a half hour. Then we got out, asked another lady, and she told us the bus left in 3 minutes to Meiji Mura. Even though I hadn´t eaten lunch and was hoping to pick something up at the station, we ran for the bus and caught it. Nothing was in English there, either, but we just watched what other people did and did the same and were fine. The bus took a little over 20 minutes, winding us up into the hills far away from town.
When we got to Meiji Mura, it was maybe 2:30pm. We realized we had forgotten to bring my or Kiddo´s rain jacket in the hurry to drop our bags at the hotel. But we had taken the umbrellas. We bought our tickets, not realizing they had English guides, which would have been really helpful because almost nothing was in English in the buildings themselves. We saw some really neat stuff, including an old train car that Emperor Meiji used to ride in, a house they moved from Seattle, Washington, a house they moved from Hilo, Hawaii (both places we have been on this trip!), an entire bridge they moved from somewhere, and the lobby of the Imperial Hotel, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. (We also stayed in the new Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, so we thought it was especially cool.)
I ate some weird food – a sandwich with a fried egg, mayonnaise, pickled ginger, and some barbeque sauce on a crispy rice cracker. Kiddo woke up when a loud cat was begging for said sandwich. We didn’t want her to run around because she didn’t have her jacket and it was raining, so I had to carry her, which made me a little grumpy, when combined with the rain. Also, it was quite cold. Finally, we decided that we had had a good impression of the Meiji period from the buildings, and since there was only one paragraph in English at each building, we couldn’t be bothered to walk to every single building, and we headed back. We got on the bus that they have, thinking we would get shuttled quickly back to the entrance to the museum where we could take the city bus, but it was a tour bus! It went suuuuper slowly, with loud Japanese narration of everything we had just seen. But hey, we were sitting and we were dry. We couldn’t complain.
We slowly made our way back to the station (Kiddo fell asleep for a second nap on the train, and we were too tired to try to wake her), and even though we were knackered, we decided we should eat dinner then and there otherwise we would end up eating cup noodles from the 7-11 because we would be completely unmotivated to leave the hotel again. You can say a lot of things about us, but we do learn from experience! So, we ate tonkatsu on the 9th floor of the shopping mall attached to the train station, took a cab back to the hotel, and spent a lot of time trying to get Kiddo to sleep. The hotel had misunderstood us and thought we ordered a crib, so they had installed one in the room. Kiddo really really wanted to sleep in her “own bed”, and tried for maybe up to an hour, but she just couldn’t in the end. She climbed in the crib first thing in the morning though, for a little “own bed” cuddle with her “own blanket”.
Then we were off to the Japanese mountains for a little R&R before it was back to Tokyo!