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Japan, part 3 
5th-Sep-2007 09:38 pm
Yokohama --> Miyajima --> Hiroshima

Annoying keyboard -- got stuck in Japanese mode, and while I can make it print English letters, what they type is now what is on the keys -- so I no longer need to type colon for an apostrophe, but rather shift-7.

After saying farewell to my spouse, I met the other members of my travel-team on the subway platform beneath the shopping center near my hotel. (They'd been there for a train or two, but I was early, so I guess I'm okay.) We took... I think both the subway (to the station where we traded in our Japan Rail vouchers -- not made less complex by my name having been spelled wrong, or by the fact that they didn't open until 45 minutes after we got there) and the rail ... over to where we caught the bullet train, which took us into Hiroshima. (We managed to miss the one we had gotten reservations on, but that just meant that we got lunch and got new reservations.)

Took the rail out to the (Port of?) Miyajima exit, where we caught a ferry over to the island. Three of us slept in a Japanese style room -- I think it was 8 X 10 with a table in the middle. (They were amazed at how much luggage we had. Wearing their slippers and hauling my stuff nearly defeated me, so I accepted help getting my junk upstairs.) The next day, we toured the island, then picked up our luggage & made our way to our room in Hiroshima. Ferry, Rail, streetcar.

Today we did a fraction of what we'd hoped, but got the important stuff in. The Peace Museum & Park. Part way through the Peace Museum I realized that the camera batteries were reading quite low, so I stopped taking flash shots of the carvings of letters, so we'll see what I get.

We photographed the Atomic Dome from several angles, were hustled by a proponent of some religion with brochures in English, and found the plaque marking the spot above which the bomb had been dropped. (It exploded about 600 meters above that spot.) Then we went on to a museum (a trip which involved riding the monorail -- so far I think we're only missing buses, rickshaws and taxis as modes of conveyance), and wandered through the gardens. Those gardens were not only worth the extra 100 Yen (think $1) but would have been worth the entire price of admission. Beautiful. Peaceful.

Then we ran out to get Hiroshima style Okonomi Yaki. Finally back after dinner (and after striking out on 3 different bookstores).

My feet are *not* speaking to me. A whole evening in heels doesn't kill me like a day in the near-sneakers I wear walking like we've been doing.

My watch, on Michigan time, says that it's nearly 9am on Wednesday (Here it's nearly 10 PM on Wednesday) and that means that we're on the homeward leg. 24 days of travel total, and 12 are gone by. In the last 8 hours and 55 minutes my pedometer (which might be in evil mode) registers 9356 steps.
5th-Sep-2007 01:04 pm (UTC)
Eeeek. I'd misremembered the order of the entries, so had put the city in for the tags... and tried to edit it. Succeeded in doing that, and then hit a button which deleted the entry! Thankfully back-arrow worked, so I didn't lose the last hour of typing.
5th-Sep-2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
You mean the tech-savy Japenesse don't have some sort of touchscreen/touchpad keyboard that can change to the standard of the user, with the keys labeled for that standard? A bit of Star-Trek NG tech we shouldn't have to wait to the 25th century to get.

6th-Sep-2007 12:15 pm (UTC)
Sorry that the puter lost what I'd answered (this morning for me) last night (for you). There's a key on the keyboard that swaps between key-sets あ is one of the choices when I hit A although it's a different character on that key... so the keyboard seems to be stuck in 'romaji' mode... but when I run the chooser that's in the tray, choosing between JP, CH X 2 (I expect Simplified is one of the Chinese choices) KO, FR (I think... I no longer have it there to look), and EN, it changes what happens when I hit a key. (In English mode, I type a colon (to the right of the semi-colon) on the keyboard and it types an apostrophe.) I'm probably explaining this badly. I can swap character sets, but without that program running, I can't figure out how to turn myself into a touch typist.

My co-travelers here are using aol, I think, and they have 'English' set for their default (a step in the right direction?) but they use the keyboard they're given.

My other problem is that while now I see the Post Comment, More options buttons, and the check spelling checkbox, once I go through that once, the labels change to Japanese and I'm lost.
6th-Sep-2007 12:23 am (UTC)
Asya says Ctrl-Shift is the default to swap character sets, you can also try Control Panel/Languages.

That Okonomiyaki is pretty good stuff, I had forgotten the name, there's a place called Okonomiyaki Chibo in Honolulu, but all I have found around here is Yakisoba.
6th-Sep-2007 12:03 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... Control-shift did something... but I'm not sure what. There is a key on the keyboard to swap between kana and English letters, but that doesn't control how the keyboard is mapped. (I.E. when I change the keyboard mapping to EN (when the puter allows) and hit the key to the right of semicolon, which is labeled 'colon' it prints an apostrophe. So I do okay when I remember how to touch-type. But if I have to look I'm messed up... (To type an open paren, hit shift 9, which is labeled close paren...)

Now I was very nearly defeated, because while a friend remembered that the underscore I need is ascii code 95, this keyboard doesn't have a numeric keypad, and it took a lot of hunting to find the shift of the key 4 to the right of the M.

Not sure how to get to the control panel around here. Looked and didn't see it. And I can't seem to paste graphics into my yahoo mail, so I can't show you what I see.

But thanks for the info -- maybe it'll come in handy in the future... although this may be the last hotel where we have internet until I get home in a week and a half.

Evil Yahoo. I responded to Tim (earlier) and to you just now, and it didn't tell me that it hadn't posted!
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