I woke up a couple of times during the morning: first when some of the other guests were leaving and the second time was an hour or so after the first one. I procrastinated a little bit after actually getting up and checked my train schedules before heading off – it was going to be tight.
Having paid my dues, I started putting on my shoes. The man asked if I knew Japanese a little – in Japanese – and wanted to talk about the usual stuff about origins, reasons for being here and my destinations. I really do appreciate when these chances arise, otherwise I’d never actually get to speak any Japanese. So we talked for a while and then exchanged farewells, the man jokingly saying something in the end, implying something along the lines of “you’ll be back.” After sharing laughs, we went our separate ways – or rather, I did; they remained in their house. Oh, and before I left, when I told them that I was going to Matsue (松江), the couple looked amazed – that is surely due to the fact that it’s a stupidly long way to go; just the way I like it.
Knowing that I had over an hour before my train arrived, I decided to take a little walk around the town to take pictures of my surroundings. The walk was fairly uneventful, but I enjoyed the fresh air and the sights. I ended my walk by going to the closest konbini I could find and got myself some breakfast.
I walked to the station with the breakfast, watching as people took off their shoes and socks and dipped their feet in to the fountain in front of it. The fountain had some empty steps leading to it, so I decided to sit down and enjoy my breakfast. With my meal eventually finished, I went to board my recently arrived train.
On my way to board it, showing my pass, the staff member asked if I had a reservation. As I looked confused, he took me back, got me a reservation and let me go. I got out and saw the reason for the reservation; the train I was boarding was the black and white tourist train Ibusuki no Tamatebako (指宿のたまて箱).
The train was quite pretty in the inside with wooden floors and everything. But why did I call it a tourist train? Because they try to sell you their brand merchandise and offer food and alcohol during the train ride, even though the ride itself is an hour long. I found it quite amazing how a couple of guys had managed to get drunk at, what, 10 AM? But I digress. An hour of travelling later we arrived to the Kagoshima-Chuo station (鹿児島中央駅). I then moved on to wait for the next train.
When the train arrived, I got in to it and started my three hour shinkansen train ride towards the north, to Okayama (岡山), from whence I’d take a route through the mountains to Matsue (松江). The train ride was filled with a bunch of passing out until I was closer to where I was supposed to change trains; I was paranoid about missing my stop.
On the next station I got myself a bento box and something to drink before boarding the Hakubi line (伯備線) train towards my final destination for the day.
The train ride, unlike many others, wasn’t filled with passing out; this one was filled with amazement and feeling awe-inspired. Soon after departure, after having emerged from a tunnel, the sights were some of the most beautiful I had ever seen.
The train was riding on the other side of a valley that was split by a river. There were towns and farmlands on both sides of the river, and they made for some of the most gorgeous sights during my entire journey. These sights could be seen for easily over half of the train line. No picture nor video could do it justice, but I still tried recording something:
By the time we left the mountain valleys, it was really dark, so nothing other than the town buildings that we passed by could be seen properly. I had to change trains once before actually reaching Matsue (松江).
It was dark, it was late, and I just wanted to go to the hotel that I had reserved, Urban Hotel Matsue. Thankfully it wasn’t far off the station, so I could get there asap.
At the hotel I came to ask about my reservation, but it seemed like – like a couple of times in the past – the Booking.com reservation hadn’t reached them. After a while of messing around, they finally gave up and just made me a new reservation. I paid my dues and threw off my stuff before going out to withdraw money and to buy some dinner.
After having eaten my dinner and showered, I started procrastinating – I wish I hadn’t.
This is where the eighteenth day ended.
Withdrew: 30,000 円
Spent: 9,287 円
Remaining cash: 31,997 円
Didn’t count the money due to laziness.
Breakfast – 0,681 円
VM – 0,130 円
Bento – 0,975 円
Train cola – 0,140 円
Urban Hotel Matsue – 6,400 円
Dinner + snacks – 0,961 円