True to Japanese style, our hotel has a check in time of 3pm. Not before, no, sorry we cannot, its the rules. Sorry sorry. Please wait here (dusty dark lobby with a few chairs), and at 3pm we will check you in.
It didnt matter that we were exhausted or that we had an AirAsia overnight flight, where they insisted on leaving the lights on, and waking you up every 5min to try and sell duty free crap, 3pm is the only time you can check in. Not 7min before this. And sure enough at 3pm there was a queue of us all waiting to check in. Only in Japan. Sigh.
Instead of waiting for hours, Shino rescued us and took us out to lunch. This is the moment we were waiting for, the wonderful deliciousness that is Japanese food. Of course, we were happy to see Shino and meet the kids, but oh my gosh, it is so nice to have something other than noodles and not worry about whether we might get food poisoning!!!
Dinner that night was a family affair, traditional Osaka speciality Tako Yaki (octopus/squid balls) food, with neighbours, kids and lots of noise. Felt like we’d come home!
Himeji Castle : A Feudal Fort
Once long ago there was a Princess Katsu (not Katsu like the pork cutlet says Greg but I'm not convinced, I think she was Princess Cutlet!) who lived at one of the towers.
The castle itself is amazing, we climbed up all the steep wooden floors, through trap doors and into tiny alcoves. Where nightingale floors squeak as you walk (security measure), and tiny windows are covered with rice paper. It was amazing to see this 12th century castle in such great condition and what a view from the top! Over the entire city of Himeji.
More disturbingly Greg was shown a new game show where men have to sing karoeke while having an...ahem erotic massage. There are new, inventive, amazing, and horrific shows all the time. Glad I'm not in tv!
*On another note, I was trying to find a good pic for here, but if you google Japanese TV Show in images you will disturbing and hilarious images that can keep you entertained for hours.
Here is the cutest toy I found, its a Panda Moneybox. You place a coin on the white button and the box opens (as seen here) a panda pops his head out and his paw grabs the money and pulls it inside.
Greg wouldn't let me buy it even though it was incredibly cute.*
*This is perhaps why its a good thing I dont live in Japan. My house would be filled with kitchsy cutesy stuff.
Akane showed us what she was learning in dance class, ‘ pop & lock’ style. Its a type of street dancing thats pretty edgy and requires quite a bit of skill. Whilst she wouldn’t let me film it, we were amazed at how good she was!
Till next time
Jade & Greg