Yesterday was a “plop” day, where we plopped ourselves down and did nothing much. And, perhaps in sympathy with Melb, it pissed down with rain all day.
For those who follow me on facebook, there was a little incident with my engagement ring – it went missing and we could not find it. Not on the floor (we thought it dropped off the desk in our room), not in the bin. Not in our suitcase. It was about the time the cleaners were coming through.
We consternated about it all day, even got the cleaner to open up the Vacuum cleaner bag, but it was not there. Finally at lunch I wondered whether it fell into one of the bags that we threw out that carried our breakfast, and asked to look at the garbage. In Australia, this would bring about distasteful looks, but the cleaners bought up the bags and looked through them. Ian and I had a quick look but could not find it and thanked the cleaner. About 5 minutes later we had a knock on the door, it was the cleaner with my ring.
We did a lot of bowing. We even offered him a small amount of cash (1000 yen, about 12 dollars) but he emphatically refused. We have bought him a nice bottle of sake which we will leave when we check out.
Japanese people, what they lack in English, they make up for in being very nice and helpful. Not that I expect them to speak English at all, but in my travels they are some of the nicest folks I have come across. Case in point, we asked a lady where we could catch a particular train. She told us, then as we were going there, she ran up behind us and let us know she had told us the wrong thing. She went right out of her way for us.
Anywho. We went to Himeji Castle today, really noice but undergoing some renovations. We then went to the gardens attached, amazing. We partook of a mini-Japanese tea ceremony, with tea so green that it must be good for us.
Kobe is wedged between the mountains and the sea, with probably about a km or less between. Hence there is opportunity for partaking of great views. We went to the crowne plaza hotel, to the top floor, to have dinner and a drink. It was expensive, but not as expensive as an Australian hotel restaurant, we were psychologically prepared for the cost. I had Kobe beef spaghetti bolognese. It was yarmy. The view from the 36th floor of the hotel was quite something, too.
I really like Italian food in Japan (or Japtalian as I have coined it). It is quite garlicky. And kobe beef lends a certain something (grease). It was tasteee.
We have made some changes to our travel plans so that I now get a week in the UK without extending the total length of the trip. Will visit Scotland, have not been to Edinburgh before, and have a friend in Glasgow who I hope to see.
Tomorrow, off to Kinosaki onsen for some serious soaking.