.:: Yamanashi? Or Not: A Day Told in Texts II ::.

August 22, 2011

Having parted with cash I wasn’t supposed to have but guilty laden with delicious doujinshi, I attempted to meet up with Dawna and Wendy.  This “attempt” turned into a huge comedy of errors, miscommunications, and freak events that never happen in Japan (aka train delays).

Prior to starting our Tohoku journey, we were to meet in Yamanashi prefecture, an inaka prefecture about an hour and half outside of Tokyo on the northern side of Mt. Fuji.  Yamanashi’s unique climate made it Japan’s premiere source of grapes… and thus wine.  Near Yamanashi City in Katsunuma, is a place known as the “Grape Cave” where, for a paltry fee of 1,200 yen, the wine enthusiast could sample a number of Yamanashi’s plentiful wines.  Think Napa Valley, California except that the fee is a one-time deal and the time limit unlimited.  Yes that’s right, 1,200 yen for all-you-can-drink wine with unlimited time. Though I myself am not a wine enthusiast (actually I’m not a fan of alcohol in general) I thought this would make for quite an entertaining show with a lot of blackmail (which did indeed happen though I wasn’t there to watch it unfold). The plan was for me (coming from Osaka) to meet the two of them (who were coming from Tokyo) there and then to head back to Tokyo.

Here’s why that plan didn’t actually come to fruition (no pun intended)…

To: undisclosed recipients

[8:53 AM] Heya gals!  I am currently on the shinkansen.  I have two transfers but if all goes well I’ll be at the Katsunuma stop at 1:41.

[11:14 AM] Well so my train was delayed due to heavy rain. Poop.

[1:09 PM] If you catch the 1:36 train you’ll get there at 2. I might be arriving around the same time.

[1:38 PM] Hey. So my train is just getting more and more delayed.  It’s stopping for 10 minutes at every stop to let other trains pass.  So I don’t know when I’ll arrive and my phone is about to die.  Go do your wine tasting and we’ll meet at Katsunuma station somehow.  All else fails we’ll see each other in Tokyo at the hostel.

[2:51 PM] I am on the train to Katsunuma, will arrive at 3:13.  Will call when I get there.

[3:17 PM] I am at Katsunuma station now, don’t go back to Tokyo without me!

[3:20 PM] Gals, trying to call. Can’t get through. Where are you? Phone is gonna d…

[4:34 PM] Phone. dead. Going. Tokyo…

[7:47 PM] Well I am in Tokyo now.  Debating whether to drag myself to Akiba or eat conbini food. So nice to have a phone again… damn thing was fully charged this morning…

[8:40 PM] Still not here? I said f-it and I am currently in Akiba gorging on a $20 steak.  =) I’ll probably go get some ice cream and mochi cream next. Gorging solves all problems…

Result: It took 12 hours for me to get from Osaka to Tokyo.  Had I chosen to go the non-stop route, I would have gotten to Tokyo in 3.5 hours.  Instead I took a 7-hour detour 360 degrees around Mt. Fuji.  As a plus I got to see lots of inaka Yamanashi countryside…

At 9:46 PM I finally met up with Wendy and Dawna. Turns out they had gotten to the Grape Cave at 2pm, just when I had predicted.  They had already started drinking and when I had tried to call around 3:20 they were already “gone.”  They stayed till 5pm… Dawna somehow managed to get Wendy and herself home and Wendy groaned about never ever drinking again. And the videos Dawna inadvertently took (of which neither Dawna or Wendy remembered the last) were just so hysterical I forgave them both immediately. =)

Post Interview with Dawna

Q: How did you feel when you saw our AwEsomE videos?

A: I laughed so hard I started crying.


Q: My fav part was just seeing Wendy sprawled out on the floor.

A: Yeah the… “I think it was 112 bottles… hey look at Wendy!” was pretty hysterical.

Posted in: Travel

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