One hundred and ten degrees of longitude separate St. Petersburg, Russia, and Tokyo, Japan. For eight weeks in 2005, I'll be crossing this large chunk of the world solo. I've set up this blog so that family and friends can keep track of my whereabouts, my activities, and my well-being. It might also be useful for someone planning a similar trip. Please bookmark this page so you can check up on me at your leisure.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


In the last entry, where I said "yakatori restaurant," I should have said "shokudo restaurant," or simply, "shokudo." Also, where I said "removeable showerhead," it might have been more accurate if I had said, "detachable showerhead." What I was trying to convey is that I could lift the showerhead out of its bracket; it was mounted far too low for a regular standing type of shower.

I went to the baseball game tonight at Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome. Isn't that a mouthful? I hope that it sounds better in Japanese than in English. At the box office, the only tickets left for tonight's game between the local SoftBank Hawks and the rival Eagles were 2500 yen and up, so I bought one from a scalper for 1500 -- the face price. My seat was up in the nosebleeds in right field, and I was directly in front of this band or orchestra of young fans with big drums and trumpets and banners on long poles that they would swing majestically at important points during the game. I'm not sure if these musicians and banner-people were just die-hard fans privileged to set up their equipment in that location or if they were actually on the Hawks payroll. Anyway, it was a good place to be. Almost everyone in the stadium had yellow and white Hawks gear on, as well as paraphernalia like noise-makers and big hands made out of foam. There was a lot of music and cheering. Cheerleaders danced to "Lose My Breath" by Beyonce. Macots fired tee-shirt cannons into the stands. There were lots of small children. People were still pouring into the stadium at the fourth inning, and I'm pretty sure the place was at capacity when I left about midway through, but I have no idea what the capacity actually is.

I took the subway there and back -- it was no problem. I think of Fukuoka not only as an experience in its own right, but as a training run for Tokyo. Here, I can learn the basics of a Japanese subway system, without the massive crowds and complex cluster of subway lines that I'll have to cope with in Tokyo. From Gion station to the station closest to the Dome, a subway ticket cost 250 yen.

I took a bunch of pictures with the digital camera while at the game. I had hoped to upload them to and then put them on the blog tonight, but when I hooked my camera up to the laptop here with the USB cable, all the dialogue boxes that appeared were in Japanese, and I couldn't figure out how to do it. I still have the pictures to show people later, obviously. I'm hoping that between my conventional pictures, my digital pictures, my journal, and this blog, I'll have a rich record of my trip that I can use later for a variety of purposes.


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