Aug 9 from Fukuoka to Kyoto

Destinations:
Fukuoka -> Himeji -> Osaka -> Kyoto

Last day in Fukuoka, had breakfast with the whole family. The family sent me off at the nearest JR station and I started my journey on the Shinkansen.

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Written on the train ride:

on the Shinkansen to Himeji

9:46am
The train is so fast that I felt dizzy trying to look out at the scenery. Not that there’s much scenery, because of the tunnels we are in.

First day of my Japan travel journey. Am glad that I will be travelling and that there are others who are travelling with me too. :D

9:57am
Train stopping at Kokura, lots of other people coming in. Off again before I even have time to finish this sentence! Will I have enought time to drag all my four luggage out when I get to Himeji???!!

10:16am
Train going very very fast. They have food trolleys on the train and the trolley people are like air steward(ess)s. Also very polite: bowing before coming in and going out.

10:49am Stopping at Hiroshima. May get to come back next year if I can get that internship. Ceiling cat, please help! Wow, it only takes 1 hour and 10 minutes from Fukuoka to Hiroshima, our bus ride was about four hours.

11:15am Fukuyama stop. Lovely gothic cathedral and Japanese castle outside the station. :D Have to start preparing in 15 minutes.

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Sitting next to the smoking carriage so smell of tabacco floats in. YUCK!

Balding man in glasses sat next to me. He drank a can of beer. It’s only morning man!

==

Reached Himeji just on time. Had to take my super huge luggage from the rack and carry the damn thing around.

Will be meeting with HY, PY and MC in front of Himeji Station’s tourist info booth at 12:00 noon. If we couldn’t meet at that time, we will go to the North gate. But my luggage is so bleeping heavy I DO NOT want to bring it to the North gate.

I waited till 12:15pm but they weren’t there so I decided to put my luggage in the locker near the Shinkansen gates and go off exploring. I didn’t put my bag in there when I came down coz I thought I could share lockers with the others.

As I walked towards the gates (my JR pass is so helpful with walking into stations) I saw the three of them. Such luck!!! Felt like crying in happiness.

I gave my carry on to MC and then put my things into the locker. When I went out, I decided to breeze pass without showing my pass coz it was with MC.

But the guy at the station said, “Miss Customer, miss customer, you can’t go out without showing your ticket.” Oh please! Asked MC to pass me my bag to him. And he had the nerve to check the date. Hello! How did I get in in the first place?

Himeji was a small place and we decided to walk to the castle instead of taking the 100 yen.

I read from google travels about a small restaurant selling cheap food. Sakura Saku. We asked a school boy if he knew but he didn’t.

THen a very helpful uncle asked if he could help. He didn’t knew the place either and we pestered him for a cheap restaurant. He drew on our map and went off.

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But actually, we didn’t really want to go to where he was talking about, so we walked a bit aimlessly around. We decided to turn into a street. And what luck! There was a sign right in front of us with the words SAKURA SAKU.

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I tell you, we’ve been really lucky during this week long trip– we always find each other in the end, we always take the right turns, we always get on the bus in time and all other miracles. I thank the Shinto gods for taking care of us during that time.

At Sakura Saku, we had set lunch at 1,050 yen. I misheard the lady saying 1,500 yen and was so embarassed that I took them to the wrong shop.

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Hamburger meal

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Fish meal (too salty, they say)

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With our tummies filled, we walked to Himeji castle. It was very very hot and I think my sunglasses aren’t that good, my eyes felt a bit stuffy wearing them.

Himeji Castle is a nice big white castle with two basement levels.

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Nice stamps along the way. I’ve collected a lot of these on postcards.

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Postcard writinh

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Himeji station

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OSAKA

We made plans to meet at Osaka. And I stopped at Shin-Osaka for a long time before I realised I was at the wrong place. Then I took a train to Osaka. and with LUCK! we found each other. 

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Takoyaki

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Okonomiyaki

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Then we split up to get to Kyoto. I took the Shinkansen so I arrived earlier. I went to the info counter and the man there helped me call the hostel for directions. Thanks

Waited a bit and the others arrived too. All four of us were given one room and it was just the right amount of cosiness. They also have FREE wireless!!! Yes!

Had to make plans for the next day. Lots of book flipping and net searching.

By the end of the night, I became the official tour guide of our trip. But actually, everyone helped with the data gathering and shared concerns about walking too much and stuff like that. This trip would never work without everybody’s help. Thanks! It’s the most memorable trip I’ve had.

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