Japan travels: Day 4

The third and final instalment in my diaries from my visit to Japan in April 2009. After this entry, I found myself drinking and socialising every night, and sleeping on the train on the way to the next part of the country, so I never really got the chance to write any more entries. Still, it was totally worth it :) Enjoy.

I wasted a lot of time in the morning trying to see some sights with Marina. She only had an hour, but instead of leaving her at the station and going off on my own I tried to see some temples with her. They ended up being too far to walk and it was a disappointing morning. Plus she missed her train. Oh well, in future I know when to say goodbye 😉

Then I visited Osaka castle. The castle grounds were truly massive, it took me quite some time to reach the castle itself after walking through parks and forests and over moats to the top of the hill. It was a spectacular wander, and the castle itself was quite impressive. I climbed to the top (16 flights of steps!) and then spiralled my way down the floors to the bottom looking at scrolls and artifacts from various eras in Japanese history. They even had lenticular pictures, and holographic movies playing. Very cool. It was a perfect example to me of how the Japanese blend their old traditions and cutting-edge technology almost seamlessly. Also, there was a monkey that did a back-flip :)

Then it was on to the Shinkansen and sayonara Osaka! The speed of the trains is quite impressive, and I found my ears popping a lot as the train rounded long corners and went in and out of tunnels. When there was a chance I jumped to a window seat to check out the scenery. I was expecting a lot of the rice fields to be around, and though there were a few I found that there mainly seemed to be city everywhere. A lot of buildings and concrete and roads surrounded the train most of the time, and each city sort of merged into the other after a while.

Caine was waiting for me when I got through the gates, and it was over-whelmingly good to see a familiar face. I was giddy with happiness at being around someone I knew, and carried that energy with me when we went out that night.

Darts and Pizza was on the menu, and they were both delicious! I accidentally ordered the curry pizza (Doh!), and it wasn’t spicy at all (woohoo!). The dough they make the pizza with here is lighter and more fluffy, and it makes almost any topping oiishii.

Then Caine and I grabbed a couple beers from the local 7/11 and talked shit for hours. It was so good to have someone around, and the poor Japanese must have thought we were crazy :) We eventually called it a night around 2 am, and vowed to be up and ready to leave around 8am.

It really was one hell of a trip, and I can’t believe I waited so long to get out of the country and experience a new world.

Normal blogging returns next week!

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