- Free parking
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Morning drizzle and cloudy skies today. Top about 17 degrees, though felt warmer at times.
After the bus debacle yesterday we caught the "street car" or tram today. Visited Korakuen Gardens which are over 300 years old. Considered to be one of the 3 top gardens in Japan. Different to Kenrokuen Gardens in Kanazawa (which are also in the top 3) with wide areas of open lawn, tea plantation and rice field, cranes in an aviary as well as groves ...
... at night with all the lights on, very ugly view by day.
We settled in and then made a mad dash to catch a bus to Korakuen Garden (1 of the 3 best in Japan). Right bus stop, but wrong bus! We have been spoilt in the other major centres with English signposting including on buses, but seems Okayama has avoided those changes. Ended up walking for ages and gave up on visiting the garden today.
So far Okayama ...
... to having children so her English is pretty good –
improving the more time we spend together now that she has the opportunity to
We stayed one night with Maiko and family and then headed
back to Takamatsu. We felt it was a bit much having two extra bodies in the
small apartment. As it was, all 5 of them sleep in one room. Maiko had cleared
a little area for us to sleep on very thin futons on ...
We left our ryokan at 7am this morning and caught an early train from Nara to Kyoto. It was peak hour and by the time the train reached Kyoto it was jam packed. Lots of school kids. At Kyoto station we found a cafe selling a "toast set" and so that is what we ordered. Buttered toast arrived accompanied by a small salad with something fishy on top as well as a small dish of yoghurt, a jammy substance and something orange. We whipped out the ...
... some bamboo groves, found tucked away shrines, and so many beautiful and colourful carp in the lake. There were some giant herons in cages at one end, which we couldn't take good pictures of due to the wiring. It was a very peaceful setting.
We walked back towards our hotel and picniced by a water fountain opposite. We collected our bags and made use of our JR passes for the last time, and headed to our next destination - Osaka, again!