13 August  A low pressure day

 

Checking out of the hotel at 8.15, we walked over to Kyoto station and, just as yesterday, breakfasted in the Café du Monde.  We caught the 9.34 Shinkansen to Tokyo which set off and arrived, as we had now come to expect, exactly on time.

 

Taking the Tozai line we arrived at Myoden station and walked over to Stephen’s apartment.  Once we had emptied our bags and suitcases, we decided to see what we could do the rest of the afternoon.  We looked on the Internet to see what was showing at the nearby Warner cinema complex.

 

The only film that seemed at all watchable was Jurassic Park III.  This is not perhaps the place for a thorough-going critique, but I have to say the plot is extremely thin, the acting no more than adequate, and as to shock and fear from sudden assaults by dinosaurs ... well, I have had greater frights when buzzed by a stray moth in the bathroom.  Or one of those cicadas.  And what about the notorious Japanese Killer Bee?  The film was the American version with Japanese subtitles.  I cannot say how good the subtitles were, but the Japanese in the audience never laughed at the few jokes.  Perhaps like the rest of the film, they were too feeble to be worth the effort.  The soundtrack was terribly loud, and actually painful from time to time.  Perhaps it’s too much karaoke that makes the Japanese deaf.

 

On leaving the theatre, we wandered round an amusement arcade, where Stephen showed his prowess in clearing Gotham City of crooks, gangsters and ne’er-do-wells by dint of accurate fire from his assault rifle.  He also decisively beat me in a car race.  Three of Stephen’s former pupils had a holiday job in the arcade and came up and spoke with him.  There had been a deal of tee-heeing from them with hands decorously masking their laughter as they saw him shooting the baddies.  They seemed pleasant and polite young women who plainly respected their sensei.

 

Once home, we waited for Yasuko to return from her work at the language school and went out for a meal.  We went to an Italian restaurant round the corner from Stephen’s apartment and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

 

Once home, we crashed out and slept soundly ‘til the morrow.

 

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