So it all started when I got the dates for an English camp mixed up. I thought the camp was today, the 27th. So I made a hair appointment in the same city so I could go right after the camp was over. WHELP, turns out I was a few weeks off on the date. Which isn't so bad, except for the fact that the camp is in Arao, which is an hour away.
So my day started early and I left around 9am. First thing on my list was to head to the electronics store to buy a car charger for my phone (since I was going to be using the navigation on my phone all day). After leaving, I realized the store didn't open until 10am. So I wasted about 40 minutes at a grocery store mostly for the air conditioning.
Then I head to the electronics store and use my broken Japanese to ask for a car charger and a phone mount (try explaining a phone mount for your car using only gestures). Turns out they didn't have the mount, but I got a car charger. Heading back to the car, I plug it in, see the little light turn on, then plug my phone in. Buuuuut, it didn't work. Frustrated, I spend 10 minutes translating the instructions just to make sure I didn't miss anything. Nope. So I go back into the store and explain to them that it isn't working. I tell them what I did and they are just as confused as me. So a store associate follows me to my car just to make sure. He can't figure it out later, so they decide to swap mine for another one. I sit there while they fill out all the paperwork for an exchange. Then we both head back to my car, and the second one does the same thing! At this point I'm worried my whole day is ruined, because my phone battery is awful and I can't make it there and back without having a charger. So, the guy goes back into the store and brings out another charger cable. This doesn't work either. So he goes BACK inside and brings me a totally different adapter. FINALLY this one works. So we go back into the store and fill out additional paperwork to swap the old for the new. One hour later, I'm finally on my way.
The previous night before I had mapped out all the temples and shrines along the main highway to Arao. So I was able to visit about 2 before suddenly a light comes on on my dash. Being me, I know literally nothing about cars. So I pull over and immediately message my car tech boyfriend trying not to panic. Turns out it was my break light, which is just like the scariest light to turn on (in my mind). So he walks me through popping the hood and we check a few basic problems.
I was able to see two more places before it was time for me to head into the city for my hair appointment.
Well anyway, it wasn't really what I wanted, but it was sort of like the Japanese version of what I get in America. It just goes to show you that what is super easy and incredibly common in America (my usual haircut) is just not a common thing in Japan. And it's not as easy as I had thought to create, it's just that I was asking for something very common for American stylists. But well, I was happy anyway and I thanked them and apologized for my terrible Japanese. Then I head over to the checkout counter and they proceed to not only try to sell me styling product (no way) but they give me a coupon to come back for a spa service (probably can't afford it) and then try to get me to download their app and add them on Line (turns out I couldn't do it because my google account says I'm in America). Then the bill.... the guy starts adding up the numbers and I'm PRETTY CONFUSED. The sign outside says a haircut is $35. Which I'm willing to pay. But the guy says "design style and cut" and the price was $45 and I'm like WAIT WHAT DID I PAY FOR NOW? Plus, the product that they added to my hair was $3 more. So I ended up paying $48 in total when I expected $35. I was... a little upset... but what could I do? Return the haircut? All in all, it was actually a really nice experience, they pamper you like crazy and spend a lot of time really focusing on cutting your hair, so I liked that.
After this adventure, I returned to my hunt for more temples and shrines. I found another 4 or 5 before it started getting late. As I was parking at the 4th shrine, I noticed my right leg starting to spasm. A combination of walking up hundreds of steps plus using my right foot for driving hours and hours (something I've never done before) meant that my leg muscles were giving out before the rest of me. So, I made that my last shrine and toughened up for the long drive home. By the time I got back, it had been 10 hours of adventure that was tiring both mentally and physically.
All in all, it was a crazy wonderful time and I'm actually really glad that it happened. Sometimes mistakes can open up doors to even better adventures. I wouldn't change a single part about today. (except the break light part..... but even thought taught me a valuable lesson about how cars work)
P.S. Yes a post with all the pictures from the temples is absolutely coming soon.