After the morning disappointment of visiting Himeji Castle, I decided to explore Himeji city a bit more before leaving for Tokyo. I considered visiting one more attraction, and chose the Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery (sake is a Japanese rice wine). Looking at a map of Himeji city, it didn’t seem that far from the JR station.
I tried to locate Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery on Google Maps but I still ended up a bit lost after I followed the route the app showed me.
Eventually a staff member from the store saw a puzzled tourist (me) and spoke to me in English. She says I can just take a look around the brewery and come back out to the store.
Honestly, it was all quite boring and there wasn’t a whole lot to see or ‘experience’ as a tour. Hardly many visitors besides myself going around the brewery.
At the end, I bought two bottles of sake to take back home.
After picking up my bags from the hostel, I had a quick — but lousy — pasta lunch at an eatery on the way to the JR station.
I bought my shinkansen ticket to Tokyo. I was going to take a Nozomi train once again.
As I sat on the platform waiting for my train, I was shaken by the sound of a Nozomi shinkansen zipping past my platform. The entire train sped past in less than 5 seconds! I missed the opportunity to capture it on video. So I got up and waited for the next train to pass. Soon enough a Hikari (slower than Nozomi) was on it’s way through Himeji station.
Now if that seemed pretty fast to you, know that the Nozomi travels even faster!
Sitting beside me was your typical Japanese ‘salary man’. He struck up a conversation with me, asking me where I was from and all that. Turns out he was working for an engineering company which does business in India, mostly out of their Chennai office. We chatted for a long while about several topics — most about India (he had a lot of questions) and travel. He was impressed with my travels, because despite the fact he travels a lot on business, he has not had a lot of vacation time. I asked him what his plans were for Golden Week (Japan’s busiest holiday period, usually in April) and he said “not much, may work”. He lived up to my pre-existing notion about the work environment in Japan. How stressful life is for the average office goer. Long hours, working on the go, and little time for anything else. This guy had 3 phones with him… and only one was for personal use!
I love Japan and I’ve dreamt about living and working here in the past, but seeing the kind of work life I’ve noticed in Tokyo (where I’d like to live), I don’t think I’ll enjoy the reality as much.
Anyway, when I kept looking out the window, my new Japanese friend asked me if I was looking out for Mount Fuji. He said he’ll tell me when we’re near 🙂
Just before sunset, my co-passenger told me to get my camera ready. And a few minutes later, there he was…
Don’t believe me?
From Tokyo station, I made my way to Asakusa district. I was going to be staying at Khaosan Tokyo Laboratory hostel for a few nights.
Tomorrow, I would visit the Asakusa Shrine and Ueno Park to see if the sakura had fully bloomed. I would also visit Shibuya after that. All that in the next few posts.