Japan Trip 2015 - January Part 2

2015/01/28: Kochi Trip Day 1

Going to Kochi

Woke up at 3:00am again, but I stayed in bed. It was fairly cold today nearly freezing temperature. Got up at 4:30am, stretched my body, packed items. The taxi reserved came in at 5:40am, so I stepped out in dark, chilly air. The traffic was very much none so only 5 min ride to a subway station, and the driver, Mr Koyama was happy to be picking me up early in the morning since he wanted to get off early today. Paid 1,020 yen then walked down to the platform, caught a subway train leaving at 5:48am. I took a seat but it was pretty cold maybe the train was at outside. I arrived at Nagoya at 6:05am, walked around the station to buy stuffs but could not find any stores or restaurant open yet. I found one just opened at 6:30am and bought meals and magazines. I passed the gate to catch a bullet train to Okayama. The train, Nozomi 97 came in at 6:55am because the train operation is beginning from Nagoya. It parked at the station for a while, usually each train only makes 2 minutes stop.

Nozomi, and breakfast

The Nozomi left the station on time at 7:06am, the sun was coming up as the train speeding up toward west. I watched Mt. Ibuki with snow cap as the train passing Sekigahara area, and the train made a few stops at Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Shin-Kobe, arrived at Okayama at 8:43am on time.


Nanpu and Lunch

Yu Bus

Nanpu 3 8:51am-11:30am (done)
I had about 10 mimutes to change the train so I wasted no time. When I get down to the ground level for the connection, there was an announcement that a person entered in a track nearby construction site so emergency stop was issued. The train, Nanpu 3 was at the platform but left the station late by 5 min from the schedule departure. The train began its journey from Okayama downtown area, surrounded by houses but soon replaced with farm field. The train reached to Seto Ohashi after passing a several tunnels, crossing in to the Shikoku Island. From there on, the train stopped at Marugame, Tadotsu, noticed snowing a bit Kotohira at 9:55am. The train moved by river in mountain area while making several more stops before reaching Gomen station, Kochi station is the next. The train moved on very much a flat place with rice anf other farm field, since I have to catch a bus immediately after getting off the train, I needed to be waiting by the door. The train slowed down and reached at Kochi station on time..

Sightseeing at Kochi

At Kochi Katsurahama, Museum (done)

After getting off the train, I proceeded to downstairs then dropped off my bag in a coin locker (500yen). Pick up an application for Ryoma passport, paid 1,000 yen to get a My Yu bus ticket to get on a bus which left the station at 11:40am. The bus was pretty old, speaker showing logo "National" (currently "
Panasonic") and looks like came from early 80s or in 70s. The bus moved under cloudy sky, made several stops on the way while moving in a coutry road, Arriving at Katsurahama terminal at 12:30pm on time. It was not a perfect sunny day but I am here.
Walked to the statue of Roma Sakamoto then took a stair down to Katsurahama. I then walked to Sakamoto Ryoma memorial museum. In the inside, there weren't many original artifacts, but interesting to see how he write things. I stepped outside after I was done to catch a bus back to Kochi city but I could not get on the bus I wanted. I wait for another My Yu Bus which came at 2:32pm. This was another long bus ride...

Kochi Castle, Downtown Walk (Done)

Came back to Kochi station around ?, I then took a light rail south to Harimaya Bashi stop then changed to another line which goes toward west. I get off at Kochi Castle stop then began walking to the castle. Walking up the steps to get to the maze like property. I reached at the top and paid admission to look inside. The place was pretty cold so getting up to the top was a challenge. I made a round then left. After getting out, I walked south and went to Yamauchi Clan museum. It was around 5:00pm already so I decided to walk to west to check out Ryoma Sakamoto's birth place and other memorials.

Dinner, Hotel Check In

Since I have three stamps collected, I got a blue passport at the information place. I also got information about where to get some good foods. So I left Kochi station at 5:45pm by a street car to Minami Harima Bashi then transfer to another one to Maebashi stop. The outside was getting dark, but it was beautiful in a way. I walked to Hirome market and had Katsuo No Tataki in both Yuzu and Shoyu for dinner at 6:00pm, there was a senior couple from Yokohama sharing the same table, they were traveling all four in Shikoku prefecture. It was a nice talk. Left the market then stopped by at several historical locations before taking a train back to Kochi station. I picked up my bag then walked to the hotel I made reservation. Checked in at the hotel at 7:15pm, the place was very cheap but I can tell that not many tourists there but folks on a business or local construction folks. Grabbed a water from a vending machine, went in the room, and took shower. At least I can use wifi and air conditioning. Went to bed around 10:30pm. I need to get up early tomorrow.

Katsuo Tataki

2015/01/29: Kochi Trip Day 2

In the moring at Kochi station

Train to Gomen

Train to Aki

Aki station

Boushi Bread

Bus to Cape Muroto


Bus back to Aki

Going to Aki (done)

I woke up at 4:00am, stretched my body and took a shower. The outside was totally dark and cannot tell if it is clear or cloudy. Checked out from the hotel at 5:00am, it was a quiet morning with very much no traffic on the road. Used a coin locker to store my backpack at Kochi station and bought a ticket to Aki station (For 1,170yen?). I went the platform at upstairs but still had a time so I bought a warm cocoa for 130 yen to warm myself up. Took a seat and waited for the train to leave. The train left Kochi station from platform 3 at 5:47am with only three other people, moving in the dark and arrived at Gomen station where I need to get on a different train leaving from the platform 0. There was a yellow and black colored car with Hanshin Tigers baseball team scheme, reminding that this is a place where they stay for the winter training. The train departed at 6:21am, the train made many stops as the sky gets brighter. Passengers were mostly school students and business people, no tourist like me. The train moved along the coast to the right, and I get to see some traditional wooden made Japanese fishing boats abandand. The train arrived at Aki station on time, I first walked to Nora Dokei house following a small waterway along a street then to the birth home of Yataro iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi. It took me 20 minutes to get to the clocktower and I have less than 1 hour left, so I now I need to run. Made it to the Yataro house, then ran back. Aki is a place where farmland is wide spread and surrounded by mountains. The temperature this morning at Kochi was above freezing but in this area I can see ice on the ground. Ran back to Aki station, and I am glad I have some time before moving on to the next location.


To Misaki (done)

Bought breakfast at the store inside the train station. They had a Boushi Pan, a bread looks like a hat, I had to buy one. Waited at outside for the bus and it came on time. Getting on bus at 8:26am, and I ate my breakfast as the bus heading toward east. The bus made a stop at Nahari station at 8:55am. The bus moved along shore, it was a beautiful view of blue sky and ocean so it won't make me bored. It passed several cities and towns including the city of Muroto. Finally arriving at Muroto Misaki at  9:51am on time. paid 1,760yen. I talked with the bus driver that this is a far way, and he agreed. There is Shintaro Nakaoka statue by the stop, I took stairs up to observation deck,  then took a trail, called "Ohenro Michi" up to a temple, and at lighthouse around 10:26am. I came down then walked around the beach. Had lunch at 11:20am at nearby cafe, they did not have any rice for today so the menu was limited. Chat with the customer and the owner to get a recommendation of gift idea. The price for the lunch was 700 yen and I left at 11:40am.

Coming back to Kochi station (Done)
I waited for a bus which came at 11:51am on time, this time the bus looked a lot older. it bounced pretty bad. The bus took the same route as I came but in opposite order. Made stop at Nahari station at ? and some of the passengers left. Finally the bus arrived at Aki at 1:15pm, paid 1,760yen. I bought a ticket back to Kochi at vending machine then went up the stairs to the platform. Connecting train leaving there at 1:26pm. The train moved on the same way again. The weather is getting cloudy, arrived at Kochi at 2:23pm?

I already have a fare ticket back to Nagoya so I bought express tickets to Nishi-Akashi station at Midorino Madoguchi. I paid ? to Okayama on an Express, and a non-reserved seat ticket to Nishi-Akashi on a bullet train. If everything goes well, I get to see my friends. I had about 40 minutes before getting on the train so I made a stop at one attraction which is the NHK's "Ryomaden" studio set. It was a pretty cool that I actually get inside of the set used in the scenes I was watching on TV. Bought gifts to my famiy and friends, picked up my bag at coin locker, walked up to the platform.

Switching train at Okayama, going to Nishi-Akashi for dinner party (done)

Nankai 20 was already at the station, so I took a seat after buying a bottled water. The train left Kochi at 3:13pm, travelling the same path back. Passing Gomen station then several more stations, crossing Seto Naikai before arriving at Okayama station at 5:41pm. I walked to the upstairs to locate an entrance to the shinkansen platform.

I switched to Kodama 746 leaving at 5:53pm which was a former Hikari Railstar (now is a Kodama Railstar?). to Nishiakashi at 6:36pm. I had to use data roaming to send message on Facebook to my friend since I do not have data connections in Japan. The good thing that the FB Messenger do not use much data so usage was minimum. I got off from the train at Nishi Akashi at 6:36pm. then met with my friend from previous work. I stayed there for about one hour then caught a rapid train to Akashi, met up with remaining members from the previous work, it was great catching up with them. The dinner finished around 8:30pm, getting on a local train back to Nishi-Akashi station, I bought bullet train ticket to Nagoya for 3,340yen at the ticket counter then caught Kodama 756 leaving Nishiakashi at 9:44pm, I was lucky otherwise I had to take a local rapid train to Shin-Osaka to catch the bullet train there. The train came in was Series 500, I thought they all retired but I guess not. Arrived at At shin Osaka at ?10?, Changed to Nozomi 98 departing the station at 10:30pm. This was the last rapid train reaching to Nagoya today. Arrived at Nagoya at 11:20pm after stopping at Kyoto.

From Okayama to Nishi-Akashi

at Nishi-Akashi station

At Shin-Osaka station

I hurried to the city transit and jumped on subway leaving at 11:28? There was a guy who was totally drank very much fell sleep on the floor of the train. What a shame. I arrived at the bus terminal at ? nearby my house. I know there is no more bus running today, so I walked in windy outside to take a taxi to home. I was back at 11:50pm. It was a long day but I am satisfied.

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