The school has come to a close and I head off to Osaka again tomorrow. I don't have grand plans yet for tomorrow, but I'll try to come up with something.
As for today, I won't go into the details of the talks, but they were through by noon, so they weren't the majority of the day anyway. Most of the Japanese students left today (since domestic travel is easier than international) so I said my good bye's and hopefully since I handed out my Meishi with my email address on them, I'll stay in contact with a couple of students. I also gave the organizers of the school some Clemson swag today and while, on the one hand, I'm sure they're not overly excited about bright orange shirts with another school logo in it, I think they appreciated the gesture and let them know I appreciated their efforts.
Also, having begun packing again, I'm glad to be able to toss my poster and not have one more thing to carry!
Anyway, I planned what do do with my free afternoon and after some time set off to some Sake breweries in the area. I was told by several of the students that Nada Sake is the most famous in Japan, and it's brewed here in Kobe, so they suggested I tour one or many and do the taste testing they offer. Ok, off I go...
My walk began enjoyably enough. They had a 'riverside walk' which was much better than walking on any old sidewalk.
Then, of course, I get lost. Go in circles. And just when I literally nearly tore my "Map" to shreds and screamed, I found a sign that helped my calibrate the map, and I found one of the breweries! Oh, by the way, about 10 minutes earlier it had started to rain too (Shock!). Unfortunately my delay meant I only made it there 15 minutes before they closed and so I was a bit rushed and there was no tasting :-(
However, I took a bunch of pictures of the process so I could study them later, and bought a little souvenir. While I was packing my bag and looking at the map, one of the women who worked there came outside and gave me a couple of free... uh... things. I still not quite sure what they are, but I tried one and it's a sweet sakeish tasting liquid around some weird clear noodles. It's some form of snack anyway. Even though I think today was their sell by date and since I was leaving at closing time it was give them to me or through them out, it still cheered me up significantly. So I set on my way to the next one which had a slightly later closing time.
I found the second one fairly efficiently, but I was still only about 20 minutes before closing time. Here though, one gentleman, about 64 if I remember our discussion correctly, made it his job to educate me about the ways of Sake despite the language barrier. Seriously though, he was feeding me so many samples I thought he was going to ask me out or something. (ok, that's a bit off color, but the thought made me laugh while I was there) Anyway, I had my samples of Japan's most famous Sake, and I was able to set off to do more shopping.
I found a 5 or more story book store in which I purchased a comic book for myself, and walked around looking for souvenirs again. Somewhat disappointing selection, but the area is much less populated than Osaka, for example, so I'll get to try again.
Then I went in search of movie theaters for my beloved. :-) It's surprisingly difficult to find a movie theater in Japan, because of the 4 I've been to now, none of them have "movie theater" (eigakan) in the title. So, I can't what they are from the outside of the building and, what's more, they're usually in a high level of a tall building. So, I can't even necessarily see movie posters or something to let me know I'm on the right track. All of that, and the people I have asked for a movie theater, seem to be unaware of their existence even though it's less than a mile away!
Anyhow, long story short, I found one today and even though they don't start showing the recent harry potter movie until tomorrow (which made my shoulders slump when I started up the stairs) they did have the merchandise in! So Autumn, you may officially 'eeeeee *claps hands*' now.
That's about it, I watched a crappy Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and did some packing tonight and I'm basically through with Kobe. For tomorrow, I don't have any real sightseeing in mind yet, but I did find mentioned on the Internet an all you can eat kaiten sushi (rotating sushi) place in Osaka for *correction* 1575 yen! That's definitely going to be dinner, if I can find the bloody thing.
Likely just one more blog from Japan, and this vacation/business trip is officially over.