Trip to Japan
“…thank you for taking the Sunshine Network Railroads service from Yokohama to Tokyo. Please, if you have any mobile telephone or radio device, put it in silence mode until the travel is done. The travel duration will be approximately forty minutes. The next station is Kawasaki Station, we will arrive in twenty minutes. The doors in the right side will open to exit to the platform. Mind the gap between the train and the platform. Have nice trip!”
The speaker inside the wagon went silent after its announcement. I looked outside the window as the train moved away from the station. Other rails are placed parallel to the one we are using, with their respective electrical connection hanging over. Some buildings are nearby the rails only separated of the rails by a road, houses and houses lining it as their facades are illuminated by the morning sun. My gazing is interrupted by a voice from behind me. I turn around to be greeted by a smiling Shiba Inu that judging for his clothes it must be an employee in the train.
“Would you like a snack sir?” Her voice is chirping and very thick accented as she hands some cereal bars and a candy I suppose.
“No, thank you very much.” I bow my head a little as she smiles and turns to greet another passenger of the wagon.
I’m lucky that the train has most of the audio translated and their personnel are capacitated in English, as I know little to nothing of Japanese. I take a look inside the wagon; silver coloured walls decorated with blue lines in some parts, an upper part destined to the luggage, two rows of seats with two in each, the seats are blue coloured with abstract red and yellow patterns to decorate them. There is not much people inside as I’m alone in my seat. I must say I have a lucky day, hope this continue for the whole trip with Pauline.
This trip to Japan was her idea, but we separated from each other a few days ago as I wanted to see Yokohama and she wanted to stay in Tokyo more. Since I have been satisfied with my visit, I’m coming back to Tokyo to see a little more and then we’ll take the famous Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka. Such a nice trip.
I feel the cell phone vibrating inside of my backpack, so I bring it out and see is a message from her.
“I’m waiting outside the Station, how much for you to arrive?” I read the text and think how to answer.
“We are arriving at Kawasaki Station. Please, passengers that have to leave, the right doors will open briefly for you to exit. Mind the gap between the wagon and the platform. Thank you for travelling with us!”
The speaker once again goes silent as the train stops in the station and eventually the doors open, letting the people inside leave with their luggage and the people outside enter. I watch them move one side to the other, some faster than others but a couple of Golden Retrievers, that surely are tourists, catch my eye.
They are around forty years old, and are dressed with summer clothes despite still being spring, one of them has an instant camera hanging from the neck and both have sunglasses. The one with the camera take a photo of the entrance and then both move to their seats, which are the ones in front of me.
“This is amazing! Never thought the Japanese people to be so into baseball!” the woman almost yelled and made hard not to eavesdrop their conversation.
“Yes darling, and to think of it. I liked more the Yokohama Marine Tower, it was very tall!” the male one answered with the same passion as her. No wonder they are a couple.
I didn’t want to listen to the adventures of strangers and fortunately remembered that I brought from home my portable audio player with some CDs with music. If not, I can always listen to the radio.
“Welcome and thank you taking the Sunshine Network Railroads service from Yokohama to Tokyo. Please, if you have any mobile telephone or radio device, put it in silence mode until the travel is…”
The voice from the speaker goes silent when I put my headphones and hit start in the device. A song just for this moment starts to play and I’m submerged by the notes and the rhythm of the song, I start to tap my foot with it. I turn to my cell phone and start to write a reply for Pauline.
“Hi, I’m there in twenty minutes, if you want to go somewhere else in the meantime, it’s alright. But if I don’t find you there when I arrive I’ll give you a call.”
I press send and a pixelated image of an envelope is shown in the small green display of the device. I put the cell phone back inside the backpack, rest it on my legs and watch the scenery on the window while listening the music.
Soon enough, the landscape becomes more and more urban as we arrive to the city and more people are visible. Despite the urban surroundings, trees are still present in a decent proportion. I take my headphones out when I see and feel the train stopping. The same audio from before starts to play again in the speaker as I get up to put my backpack and take my baggage from the upper space.
I exit the wagon and the amount of people in the platform is shocking. Many men with suits walk hastily with their cell phones at hand or talking through them, seats and seats filled with people waiting for their respective trains to arrive and the noise of many voices trying to talk entangled with the voice of the speaker announcing the different train departures and arrivals. I start to walk away from the bustle, and I’m surprised to see a familiar face.
A short black cat is waiting near a vending machine with a bar in her hand. The half-closed eyelids quickly open and a happy smile with risen cheeks appear as she starts to walk towards me.
“Liber! You finally arrived!” her voice with playful joy traversed the few metres we had of distance.
“You know that these trains are of the fastest in the world? I thought that YOU would know that better than me.”
“Yeah yeah.” She moved her hands dismissively giving a small pout that made me chuckle.
“I’m surprised to see you here though. How did you know which platform I was going to be?” I remarked at the situation as we walked through the station.
“Well, I listened to the announcements. It wasn’t that hard.”
Right, I forgot that she knows Japanese. “Have you been enjoying your stay here so far?”
She looked at me with glee in her eyes. “You know that’s a stupid question, right?” I chuckled. “This has been amazing so far! Though the thought of Brian not here saddens me.”
“Yeah, it’s a bummer that he was busy. Maybe next time he’ll be able to come with us, or you could come with him alone.” I wiggled my eyebrows and she laughed.
I adjust my glasses as the sun hit us without mercy as we exited the station and stepped in the pavement. Many people walked around, some with business clothes and other with more casual ones, some students in their uniform were also there. Buildings provide spaces with shadows where people can take a break that’ll eventually become small due to the midday slowly approaching.
“C’mon let’s get us a taxi.” I told her while walking to the busy street. “You’ll have to tell the driver where to though.”
“Yes, there’s no problem.” She smiled. “You also don’t know the hotel direction.” Remarked as she looked for any empty taxis. One yellow Toyota with a fox as a driver was reading a newspaper while waiting as Pauline approached and gently knocked the door window. The driver quickly hid the newspaper and turned his face with a smile to Pauline as she asked, I suppose, if it was available for us to enter. I approached the taxi while the cat got in and talked with the driver, I couldn’t recognize nothing from their conversation.
I sat beside her in the back of the taxi as she told him the direction of the Hotel, the fox nodded and started the drive to our destination. While the taxi moved I adjusted better my luggage to be comfortable and don’t annoy Pauline.
“Sorry.” I added while placing finally my bag over my lap.
“There’s no problem.” She smile once again and laid her hands over her knees, turning her head to the window to admire the city. “It’s so beautiful. Wish I lived here…” A gentle sigh escaped her muzzle and the edges of the mouth went up slightly.
I turn my head to look outside, put my elbow on the free space of the window in my side and rest my chin over my hand. “You will.” I let my voice wander. “I know you will, just wait.”
The buildings with their ad posters and many cars in the street make the place look cosmopolitan and busy, the few trees present sway their leaves and branches to the soft wind that blows making their shadows dance in floor and wall alike. The silence between us is more than evident that it won’t be broken as we both bask on the Nippon scenery around us.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, LiberWrite a Review