Trains and baths

July 4th 2018
Published: July 4th 2018
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July 4th

Another travel day today. We had to get from Hiroshima to Takayama for our final destination before flying home on Friday.

We were planning to catch the 11:54 train and knew there would be a couple of transfers on the way.

Again, we were up early and we wandered off to the memorial at peace park, which was closed last night when we walked past.

It was fascinating to see what had happened to the city and the people after the bombing. The devastation was utter but the people were determined to rebuild their lives there and it is a thriving city today. A testament to their spirit I think.

I didn't dwell on it, but I did wonder what the radiation levels were in the area today.

Most of the museum was closed due to "renovations and earthquake-proofing" (not a sign you'll see in Adelaide), but it didn't matter as we were pressed for time anyway.

Again, a very interesting and powerful display.

We returned to the hotel to check out and caught a taxi to the train station. The taxi driver was an older lady who spoke not a word of English. We couldn't get through saying either "station" or "JR Line" but eventually remembered the Japanese word for bullet train is Shinkansen. That was enough to get us under way and prevented us from having to begin a game of charades!

So far so good.

Things took a turn at the station though.

We found out that the recent storms had damaged part of the line to our destination and we had to now catch two additional trains and a connecting bus to get where we needed to go.

C'est la vie.

Several hours later, we had seen parts of Japan (and I suspect Russia, Europe and America) on our way to Takayama.

It was lovely travelling through the countryside. Passing quaint villages. Seeing the rivers and mountains of the area. We don't really have such lush countryside in Australia, not where we live anyway.

In many ways, the scenery reminded me of Europe. Cloud-covered mountains, flowing streams, verdant and very pretty.

Despite the time taken to get there, the train trip was very relaxing and we arrived feeling quite at ease with the world.

Grabbed a taxi to the Ryoken and were met by some charming people. The place is beautiful. Tatami floors, rice paper walls, Japanese bath, completely traditional decor and fittings. An absolute score as far as accommodation goes.

We went for a wander to grab some dinner and, after a brief stroll through what we think was a red light district, found an equally charming place to eat dinner.

Returned to the Ryoken and took advantage of the onsen (traditional Japanese bath). A combination of hot baths, open showers and a couple of outside baths as well. One was for men and the other for women. Very refreshing at this stage of our journey.

Despite all the travel, it was an interesting day that we both enjoyed.

Random thought for today: some beds are more comfortable than others!


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