Interruption: A tip about using map applications in Japan. I highly advise knowing where you are going before leaving the house. “What?” you say, “Doesn’t everyone do this?” Well, maybe everyone else but I have had several Adam Sandler-like moments while navigating based on my iPhone map.
First, the Yoko-Yoko expressway was closed due to the rain (flooding? landslides? My lack of Kanji knowledge limits my interpretation), which added about 45 minutes to the trip. Then, the stupid app erased the address and just sent us to the town. Now, it could have been worse but when we stopped in the 7&I (7-11), it was hard to get directions because the ryokan we were going to was fairly small and not well-known. Finally, we were told that we were very close so we headed back to the car, feeling slightly better but not much. After Googling in Kanji after finally figuring out how to cut and paste the Kanji, I finally figured out where the ryokan was and we showed up, 9 minutes before dinner. Phew!