Day 2: checked out of Granvia, the main purpose of our visit (Lauren!) arrived, and we made our way down to her town, Yakage, together– via progressively smaller trains!
I made up for my 622 photos yesterday, by taking about 7 today.
Sunnier today, at least to start with:
Lauren (our oldest) took the day off work, and trained up to watch us pack up the room.
Related to fire putting out:
Headed to giant electronics store to get my camera looked at/lens cleaned.
This kept blinking at me, and saying what I can only assume were incredibly rude insults.
I also bought my happiest phone case ever!! I can’t photograph it, because it’s on my phone now, but it’s a lovely silver silhouette of an Alice and wonderland illustration.
We picked up snacks for the upcoming train travel – but did not purchase what is clearly a Spaghetti Hot Dog, but Lauren haughtily called a ‘noodle sandwich’:
Back to Kyoto station to catch a bullet train to Kobe (train 1). It was about an hour ride, but I forgot to take any photos. You’re just going to have to trust me this actually happened.
Humorous side note: I recently had to (finally) update my phone iOS to the new version. Apparently, among other new features, it parses ones’ photos and creates a few types of “smart albums”– including one called ‘Selfies’. (ugh! A least favorite word- up there with veggies!)
It was on above mentioned bullet train I found said auto-curated album on my phone:
We transferred from the bullet train to a non-bullet train headed to Okiyama. Again, no photos. It was super rush hour! Standing room only, but met a lovely older woman who wanted to practice her conversational English. She described her visit to America, including the Wonders of Graceland, and Yosemite. She traveled across the US on (!) Greyhound and some Amtrack. I can’t imagine the sense of contrast between her transportation experience there and ours here! The Memphis (or any) Greyhound station alone must make for a fascinating page in her trip album.
In Okiyama, we transferred to Lauren’s ‘local train’ – one car long.
Dormant rice fields
Starting to snow as dusk descends:
After Lauren broke the train with her 500 Yen coin in the ‘no 500 Yen Coin’ slot, we disembarked in her town – Yakage!
Apparently it rarely snows here, and not yet this year – so Lauren was happy! Being from MA, Paul and I were also super giddy and enthusiastic! (ha) But it is pretty!
We commenced our wheeling suitcase parade for a ten minute walk through swirling snow and tiny streets to our AWESOME Inn – which I’ll post/take way too many photos of tomorrow.
Yakage-ya InnOur room is this one:
After settling in, and familiarizing ourselves with the wide range of footwear (wood slippers, slippers slippers, bathroom slippers), we headed back into the snow to walk to dinner at an amazing Pancake-type food restaurant , which if this were an educational type blog, I would put the actual name of.
It was crazy delicious. Cabbage and batter and pork and mochi all cooked down to a pancake/pie thing, with amazing sauce.
Tomorrow: while Lauren’s at work, Paul and I will explore Lauren’s little town and go to another nearby town!