Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Matsumoto

And we're off, 4 trains today to get us to Matsumoto, which will serve for us as a gateway to Kamikochi up in the mountains. All in all, a good day of travelling. We left in the rain this morning (at least I did, seems the rain skipped Nikko) and hopped through Utsunomiya, Omiya and Nagano stations before arriving in Matsumoto. We're staying at the Welcome Inn Matsumoto, which is very well located for the price, near the station and Matsumoto-jo. So far so good with the travelling, I'm impressing myself regularly with how much of my Japanese is coming back, especially my reading... very useful!

After checking in and dropping off our bags at the hotel, we headed on down the road to check out Matsumoto-jo, one of the few surviving original castles in Japan. Dating back to the late 1500s, the castle sits rather dramatically in the middle of a nice park.

Here are my 6 views of Matsumoto-jo, quite pleased that we got some of the warm light from the setting sun before some clouds rolled in.







Yoshiko and I came out here for Obon in 2006, but as someone who loves the mountains, I'm liking being back in the area, and the castle grounds was certainly a nice way to spend the afternoon after all those trains.

We've purchased our tickets already for our bus ride up into the mountains proper tomorrow morning. We leave for Kamikochi at 8:50AM, hope the weather holds out for us. Not sure when I will get back online again as our next couple of stops are pretty rural and the hotels probably won't have connections. And that's ok... nice to be disconnected for a bit, though I do miss Keita and Yoshiko greatly, will get on skype to them momentarily actually... Cheers!

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