Friday, September 14, 2007

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Public transportation is one of the most wonderful things about Japan...once you figure it out. You can get just about ANYWHERE by bus, and they are almost always right on time. You can set your watch by it.

All the destinations are written in Chinese Characters, with only the bus's final destination written in English, which makes catching the correct bus a bitconfusing. There is a chart that is very easy to read...if you can read Japanese fairly fluently...which I cant.

When you get on the bus, you pull a number from a box at the door, like you're waiting in line to return something at Target.

At the front of the bus there is an electronic sign with all the different ticket numbers on it, and the bus fares written below. These fares keep changing the further you go. When you reach your destination, you check the fare written below your number, get your change ready, and move to the front of the bus.

Here's where it gets tricky. Remember everything is written in Japanese, most of the time using a lot of the Chinese characters that I can't read. At the front of the bus (I didn' get a picture) imagine this metal box with about 76 different places to insert things. Rather than insert your money into the coin slot ( that just gives you change) you put your ticket, AND your money in this clear box at the top with a conveyor belt at the bottom. It took me about 10 times before I figured this out, each time the bus driver giving me instructions into his microphone so EVERYONE on the bus can hear.

Anyway, I have the bus system down now, and last night had a nice peaceful bus ride to the sounds of Nickel Creek on my ipod.

When I reached my destination, the river look so sweet, I had to take a picture.

These little carts are a Hakata (Fukuoka) tradition. You can find one for any type of tradiational Japanese food, and share a meal with a bunch of Japanese strangers.


Garyn said...

dude that whole bus thing looks so confusing. really like the river picture. its beautiful.

Patrick Jinks said...

Hi Garyn!

Also, Ryan, bring us all up to speed on what you're even doing over there to begin with. Are you staying over there for a certain length of time, or do you just live in Japan now? Sup? Uncle Pat