Sakaide Plaza Hotel
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Today was a bit of a spare day, due to Nara being a shorter trip than planned, so I decided to head to Okayama which is on the route towards my next hostels destination of Hiroshima. Similarly to Himeji, Okayama has a castle and a famous garden(one of the top 3 in all of Japan) so I spent the late morning and early afternoon pottering around these sights. These two were hidden gems that are mainly missed off tourist itineraries. The castle, known ...
... booked my next night to sleep.
For a change, this was a bit a different kind of hostel. It's very Japanese style, you sleep on tatami, breakfast is miso soup and rice. Guests are here from Holland, England, Australia and Japan.
I decided actually to stay here an extra day, it's great to be with a bunch of people, where you feel so welcome!
Tomorrow, I will ...
... I didn't hear the price properly and had to get Lynne to translate it for me as the usual thing happens. They assume I am Japanese and can speak the lingo. Anyway, it ended up costing 2800 yen which was pretty expensive at AUD$31 for a piece of cloth and some rope for the straps. By that stage, I was feeling pretty bad that we were probably going to be her only customers for the day or week. So I ended up buying it from her. Oh well, another pressie to lug back ...
... train. It is a double decker train and pretty much glass all around. The front four seats on the lower ground are just behind the driver's compartment, which is all glass as well. That way, you can observe what the driver is doing.
In this case, for the first half of the journey, the driver was under instruction. He has to point literally to the timetable on a clipboard, to signs and signals in and out of the train. He has a ...
... station (of course) and then walked slowly down to the other end of the park. The map gave the impression that it this might take all
day, but fortunately it was a large scale map and it ony took us a couple of hours. On the rather large lake there was a 30min boat trip, Just two to a boat. It would have been lovely but we just too late to take the last boat of the day.