Last Train Out of Kamiooka

Yesterday was a Friday; normally, I have classes on Fridays, but this Friday was a public holiday known as Labor Thanksgiving Day — to give thanks to each other for…working, I guess. In the old days, it was a harvest festival…I guess they needed an equivalent for the modern age.

In any case, for whatever reason, the gaming arcade I frequent in Kamiooka one stop down decided it’d hold a no-strings-attached free-to-play weekend on music games; people who know me well back home (and are reading this, right? 😉 ) know I love me some music games. The machines were to be set on free play from 9 to 12 both in the morning and in the evening; I was there for both of them, unlocking as much as I could on jubeat saucer, waiting in lines of up to sixteen people.

After squeezing in a four-song game of DrumMania XG3 to finish off my session night once jubeat had stopped accepting new players¹, I headed back, amidst an Japanese-and-English-language track telling people that the store was closing, to Kamiooka Station. There, I waited for the last train back home.

The vast majority of the trains on the municipal subway’s Blue Line go in one of two directions: to Azamino in the north, or to Shonandai in the south. This one, normally bound for Azamino, read that it was stopping at Nippa, some six stops shy of the Blue Line’s true endpoint, but home to the subway’s northern trainyard. I’d seen this before, but I’d never taken a Nippa-bound train. Inside the train was also sort of eerie: the recorded announcements that played and the scrolling text displays had nothing to say of Azamino. It’s not really a huge deal, mind — the train stopped and I got off at my station just fine — but it…still definitely felt a bit odd taking the last train out of Kamiooka.

And now I can say I’ve taken both the first train out of anywhere², and the last train out of anywhere, each for the first times in my life. ◆

1: Arcade machines have recently employed something called the Shop Close setting, which locks down the machine past a certain time; it’s very handy for gently getting people out of a given shop. Sort of nifty, actually.
2: I took the first train out of Yokohama after my first all-night karaoke session, which I still have yet to write about.

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