Lost in Transit

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of Japan  ,
Friday, March 31, 2006

The morning proved to be little warmer than the night before, a fact confirmed by the snow falling outside which I only knew about from Sandjay as I had still not mustered the courage to get out from what little warmth I had in bed.

After a hot (was relieved about that) shower I sat down with Michael for breakfast after Sandjay and family had already left to find out that the next bus was not for another 5 hours. Not wanting to have to wait around or shell out for another taxi I decided to hike back to Yoshinaga station and figured I could be there in about 2 hours.

Luckily not long after setting off, just as hail stones started to come down, a lovely young girl stopped and gave me a lift the rest of the way despite the fact she was headed in the opposite direction when she picked me up but insisted that she was going that way.

I had decided to go to Osaka a day earlier than planned so stopped off at Himeji Castle on the way which looked very much the fairy tale sort of castle with it's high white walls and sweeping curves. The castle had very steep staircases inside to reach the top with low supporting beams which would have proved cumbersome to navigate through without the backpack I was carrying (guess that's why you never attack a castle with a years supply of traveling gear in tow) as well as the silly plastic slippers they give you which kept coming off my feet.

After almost getting wedged a couple of times on the stairs I left Himeji by Shinkansen to Osaka and took the rail line that loops the city to exactly half way around to get to where I was staying. This area of the city was quite a contrast to Tokyo or other parts of Japan I had been to and just had a dirty feel to it which was saying something in a country that almost demands cleanliness.

On arriving at the hotel they had no record of my booking and said they were full up so after arguing for a bit was told to try the hotel next door which was part of the same building. It turns out they had my reservation as the same hotel for some reason has two identical halves (called North and South respectively) but appeared to operate independently of each other, I just wondered if it was run by a married couple who could no longer stand each other.
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