The vending machine here sells Adorable Milk:
It was about zero degrees as we departed today (with wind chill, anyway). We were going to wander about Matsue, but it was way too cold, so we took an earlier express train to Okayama, and then a bullet train to Osaka
The trip from Matsue to Okayama was an exotic snow-covered series of landscapes.
One stop before Okayama, we parted ways with Lauren :(. ).
In addition to missing her already, this means Paul and I are again unleashed on Japan without our translator, cultural educator, and horse sashimi and other dubious foods spotter.
We immediately ran into problems in Osaka Shin station, when we attempted to exit the bullet train, and we couldn’t find a seemingly completely irrelevant ticket from three trains ago, which was apparently required to exit. Evidently, the station masters want to see *every leg of your journey* before they’ll let you escape.
Our impressive gesturing and over enunciation of English, as well as our classic public ‘pocket and bag rifling display’ provided amusement for the rush hour crowd.
After a while, I think they pitied us as they accepted our handful of tickets – including a souvenir receipt as the missing ticket.
We made our way to the subway (our first subway trip!)- to get to our next and final hotel (Osaka Marriott). I flawlessly managed the ticket machine, if I do say so myself, and we lept aboard a train waiting on the platform, miraculously headed exactly where we needed to go! Who needs Lauren now!
Our hotel is attached to the station, so was easy to find after getting off the subway. It sits atop what is apparently the largest dept store in Japan . The building itself is also the tallest building in all of Japan, per Paul.
We’re on the 47th floor, and the view is great:
Among other benefits, our hotel room comes with complimentary Rose Moist bath salt, and a Lady’s Kit!
Before some of you, from Texas, you know who I’m talking about — get all prudish on me: here are the contents of the Lady’s Kit:
Miscellaneous other stuff from today:
Here is the Matsue Town Mascot! (All towns have mascots).
Also, when I got bored waiting in line for train tickets today, I started taking pictures of my money. It’s so pretty!
A separate thing that amused me: I had the opportunity to briskly use the restroom on the express train (express pee!) – it was all very civilized and the toilet seat was appropriately heated. There was, however, a miniature urinal right directly at “sitting head level” — a bit close for comfort, IMO.
The best, however, was this sign on the urinal:
…. as IF!!
That same restroom also had a vaguely alarming ‘collapsible baby holder’
As much as I love Japan and this trip, I feel a constant sense of near disaster — between all the heads and horses one might be expected to eat, and the dangers of mistaken drinking from the wrong thing…,
Tomorrow is our last full day in Japan… :(. We’re trying to decide between heading back to Kyoto for one more day, or exploring Osaka – which is huge.