With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Posts Tagged ‘Kaneiji’

The Final Backpack

Posted by Heliocentrism on September 30, 2017

Tuesday, July 4th – 12th, 2017

When I was in Malaysia I bought a smaller backpack to force myself to drastically pare down my clothes and travel items. It did the trick and really helped me to decided what I really needed and what I should dump or mail back to my mom’s house. Because of if I learned to live with less and I felt lighter. But, for me to go to Iceland I would need a bag that could hold more. It didn’t need to be as big as the pack I started out with, but something between the first bag and the smaller one.

It took Mark a mere 5 minutes to pack away all his stuff in preparation for a change in hotel or a flight. I, on the other hand, took about 20 minutes. Everything in my pack had to be folded just so and packed in a certain order. Sometimes, when the zipper would not close all the way it meant that an item had been placed in up-side-down or backwards.

We were getting closer to the time when we would be in Iceland. At which point, I would have to buy a pair of jeans, a fleece jacket, and a long sleeve shirt or two. None of these new clothes would fit in this small bag. I had to get a bigger one.

I had never really gone backpack shopping with any criteria in mind. My first bag, I chose “something red”. The second one I got because it was “not red”. The third one, the one that turned out to be a bad choice, was selected because it was “small”. This time I knew what I wanted.

Must-have 1: Back Vent

I needed a back vent. Bag #2 had one. I didn’t even notice how useful it was until Mark told me that he wanted a pack with a back vent like mine. “Why does that even matter?” I asked him. He gave me his pack to carry for a while. It was a hot day and it didn’t take long to see why my bag was better.

Without the back vent, it gets really hot carrying a pack, even when it’s almost empty. The back vent keeps your back well ventilated and the sweat on your back can easily dry and keep you cool as you carry your haul.

This pack is both front and top loading

Must-have 2: Front Loading Option

I need a pack that is front loading. Bag #1 was front loading. It makes looking for things so much easier. To find stuff in a top loading backpack, one must first unpack. Completely unpacking might not be necessary; the item might be found before then.

If a pack is front loading, all you have to do to see your stuff is to unzip it. Then you can pick what you want and leave the rest in the bag.

Must-have 3: Small Size

It has to be small. I need it to function as my day pack as well as my backpack. I would put my stuff in a locker at a hostel or in a drawer at my hotel. Then I want to be able to carry around my pack as a light and small day pack.

I also have a fear of being robbed while traveling by bus. When you get on a bus, you have to place any big items you have under the bus. This is where suitcases and backpacks go. Although it has never happened to me, anyone I know, or anyone I’ve heard about my fear is this:

I place my backpack under the bus and take my seat. I’ve got a ticket to the city of Five-Hours-From-Here. The bus is so comfortable that I fall asleep. The bus stops to let off the people going to Two-Hours-From-Here. One of these passengers sees my bag and takes it.

The reason for the theft doesn’t matter. Maybe my bag is mistaken for hers. Maybe it was not stolen at all, but my bag falls out as this passenger gets her own bag. The end result is the same, my bag is no longer on the bus and I don’t notice until I get to my stop.

This can easily be prevented if my bag is small enough for me not to have to put my bag below. If it is small, I can keep it on my lap, by my feet, or above on a luggage rack. This would make me feel much safer.

Must-have 4: But, not too small

It needs to be big enough to carry all my stuff. This time, I would not rely on my memory or a label to determine if the new pack were the right size. I would bring the small bag with me to compare the two. This time there would be no mistakes.

This is just some random area of Tokyo.

Mark and I went to the Kanda district in Tokyo where many of the outdoor sporting goods stores are. We looked through 8 or 9 stores hunting for the right bag. I was worried that I would not find anything that would work for me.

Luckily, I found two packs and had a hard time choosing between the two. In the end I picked an Osprey Sirrus that had everything I wanted in a very nice color. It was a medium sized bag that can be compressed to a small size when being used as a day pack. It was not the great financial deal like Mark’s $12-pack, but I did managed to get it duty free by showing my passport. That took a good $10 off the cost of this bag. And so far, I’m very happy with it.

The smaller backpack and I did have some good times together.

The next thing I had to deal with was the fact that I had 2 backpacks. Being in Japan, one cannot simply throw it out. The small pack had to be disposed of properly.  Mark wanted to take it to a recycle shop. I thought that was a very good idea so I searched the internet for recycle shops near our hotel. We walked to several, but none of them bought backpacks.

On one of our days out and about downtown Tokyo, I thought I would try once more. I found a place near Ueno Park called Mode Off. We handed over the small pack and gave them 30 minutes to appraise it. When we returned they gave us 1,500JPY (a little less than 15USD) for it. “Not bad for a pack I paid about 30USD for,” I thought. I was expecting about 500yen.


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • International ATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask what ATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Photo from: cometojapankuru.blogspot.jp

Backpack Shopping in Tokyo

How to get there:

Websites:

Cost:

  • It’s Tokyo and designer brands…
    • That said, things do go on sale and there are some generic brands. You just have to look a bit harder.
  • Backpack – 6,500JYN (Generic on sale) to 45,000JYN (Name brand, huge, not on sale)

Notes:

  • There are more shops in the area, but I found everything I needed (and some stuff I didn’t need, but wanted) right on this street.
  • There are a lot more outdoor goods shops in this street between the Victoria and the  ムラサキスポーツ, but they do not show up on google maps.
    • Like the really nice North Face shop in a 5 story building where most floors have 2 specialty brand stores.
  • Bring your passport to get duty free.
    • You will not have to pay the 8% tax.
    • Don’t forget to ask about a duty free option if the clerk forgets to ask you.

Tokyo Imperial Palace
(皇居)
(Kōkyo)

&

The Imperial Palace East Gardens
(皇居東御苑)
(Kōkyo Higashi Gyoen)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°41’06.6″N 139°45’10.0″E (Tokyo Imperial Palace)
  • Coordinates 35°41’10.5″N 139°45’33.8″E (The Imperial Palace East Gardens)

Address:

1-1 ChiyodaChiyoda, Tokyo Prefecture 100-0001Japan

Phone:

  • +81 3-3213-1111

Websites:

Cost:

  • free

Hours:

The Imperial Palace East Gardens:

  • 9:00 – 16:00
  • Cosed Every Monday and Friday

Image result for mode off ueno

Photo from: secondhand-clothing-tokyo.blogspot.jp

Mode Off Ueno

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35.708114, 139.773905

Address:

  • Japan, 〒110-0005 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, 台東区Ueno, 4 Chome−4−2−3

Phone:

  • +81 3-5807-7330

Websites:

Hours:

  • 11:00 – 21:00

Notes:

  • This store and others like it are part of the Hard Off Group, which sells (and buys) used goods.
    • Hard Off – Electronics, Music, Instruments, Software…
    • Mode Off – Clothes, Bags, Purses…
    • Off House – Home appliances, Furniture, Clothes…
    • Garage Off – Big Electronics/ Appliances, Stuff you would put in a garage…
    • Book Off – Books, Music, Software…
    • Hobby Off – Toys, collections, Cards…
    • Liquor Off – Pre-owned but un-used booze…

Sogenji Temple
(Kappa-dera temple)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35.715157, 139.786291

Address:

  • Japan, 〒111-0036 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Matsugaya, 3 Chome−7 松が谷3-7-2

Phone:

  • +81 3-3841-2035

Websites:

Cost:

  • free

Hours:

  • 9am – 5pm

Notes:

  • The shrine is very small.
  • If you encounter a kappa, don’t panic.
    • Bow to the kappa.
    • The dim-witted kappa will bow to you in return.
    • This will cause the bowl on the kappa’s head to spill it’s water.
    • If the kappa’s head bowl is void of water for too long, the kappa will die.
    • This will make the kappa run to the nearest body of water, leaving you alone and unharmed.
    • Never follow the kappa to the water!

Kaneiji
(Science Bug Temple)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35.721179, 139.774144

Address:

  • Japan, 〒110-0002 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Uenosakuragi, 1 Chome−14−11

Phone:

  • +81 3-3821-4440

Websites:

Notes:

  • There is a tomb for bugs who have died in the name of science.

Map:

Posted in Japan, Tokyo 都 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: