[Note: Writing articles takes me a long time so I do it on my daily commute on my phone… Some of the more insane typos probably stem from this.]
Anyone looking for industry gossip will need to wait for subsequent articles because this is just a summery of the major points hit on the itinerary. I also don’t feel particularly like dropping names so I’ll be referring to them indirectly here.
A short while ago, I went on a trip up to Canada with some friends from the Japanese eroge industry. The whole thing started because after writing a whole story set in Nova Scotia, my friend said he had actually never been there himself. All of the setting material came from research that he did on the area. At the same time, he also had to stay in Japan while his company was releasing a game, so it ended up being that he had to go to Canada at the start of November where everything was practically closed for the season. Exciting stuff.
Along the way, another scenario writer decided that he would like to come see NYC and Canada as well, and finally a friend of the company that runs a content publishing company who also traveled a lot to the states cam top act as a tour guide. Myself, I was merely tagging along for the ride, and doubling as interpreter and tour guide for NYC.
They arrived Saturday morning exactly one week after hurricane Sandy came and totally wrecked the subway system with floodwaters. The trains were just slowly getting put back online after a week of nonstop repairs and Brooklyn was still largely disconnected from Manhattan thanks to the flooding. Against that backdrop they arrived and rented a car of all things. In New York City. Crazy.
But thanks to the trains being so messed up, it wasn’t that bad a decision, except for the paying a ton for parking.
Over the next few days we traveled around to various museums and other famous spots. Overall, there was so much stuff to see they had trouble thinking of a places to go. But we hit the MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, Battery Park, Grand Central Station, an Uno’s (for fake deep dish pizza), and some random other places across the city. Certainly not nearly close to the full NY experience but an okay approximation for two a half days.
Halifax is a pretty large city in the region of Canada that we were visiting, but it’s hard to really feel that when coming straight out of NYC. The population seemed to drop an order of magnitude. We rented a minivan at the airport and drove on to the main downtown area where our hotel was, stayed a night in a fancy inn, then set off the next afternoon towards New Glasgow, roughly a 3plus hour drive through increasingly rural areas. Eventually we stopped seeing farms by the roadside and only saw forest and wilderness as far as the eye could see.
At the next stop we were at a great little bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere. They had a great view of the sea, PEI, access to a small beach, four dogs, and alpacas.
After that it’s the ferry to PEI and a single family house turned b&b in Charlottetown before heading to the main tourist attraction for Japanese tourists, the town that inspired the book “Anne of Green Gables”. In fact the guestbook at our b&b was almost a third to a half filled with Japanese signatures, mostly female.
Sadly, the tourist season on the island is from about April to mid-October so almost everything was closed as the locals prepare for winter. To make things even worse, the whole time we were in Canada, it has been cold and rainy so we couldn’t even see the beautiful sights that the area is known for. Orz.
Still, we managed to have fun so it wasn’t that bad. Seeing the sights while they were open would have been nice though.
Finally after PEI we returned to the mainland, stopped in a cheap motel before hauling off to Halifax airport to fly back to NYC and then connecting to a flight back to Tokyo.
One amusing thing about the trip was that I’m reminded of how people from Tokyo are really not used to the cold. After a few windy days in about 4C weather, they were all saying how cold they felt. Often they didn’t want to leave the car for more than a few minutes because of the wind chill factor.