The weather forecast said trace amounts of rain…so decided it would be a good day for a long distance trip. …but you can’t trust that “son-of-a-peach” weather web-site to get anything right.
The plan was to go to Himeji castle. This is what it usually looks likeand this is what you could see in the distance from the train as it neared Himeji stationThe train is moving fast, it’s raining slightly and the photo is taken through a window but you can make out the two smaller towers on the left, but the entire castle has been enclosed by a giant cage. According to Lonely Planet the rennovations will take 3 years.
Although seeing the scaffolding up close might be interesting, I spontaneously decide to stay on the train and make my way to Okayama, the home of Momotaro, the Peach Boy.Now this son of a peach, demonstrates yet another way to get pregnant. In the oldest versions of the story: an old, childless couple find a a nice juicy peach, she eats some of it and offers some to her husband, they are both rejuvenated and decide to … well you can guess…and a boy is born. In the version I learnt at school, Momotaro actually hatches out of the peach and says that he was sent from heaven to be their son. Momotaro fights demons alongside his trusty companions a dog, a monkey and a pheasant.
Well, Okayama also has a castle, this one is quite unique in its black colourationand I’m in luck it seems, there is an ukiyo-e exhibit inside the castle at the moment, and there is going to be a free theatrical performance in the castle courtyard in an hour’s time.
It starts raining quite heavily while we are inside the castle, but there is also plenty of opportunity to have fun here, there three girls try out the sedan chair
and then try out the peasant hats too!
When I finally brave the weather outside I read a japanese sign that says the free performance cancelled due to rain…I guess my luck has run out…
I stop and buy a snack called tai-yaki
sorry was it one of your relatives???
The Koraku Gardens
That one reminded me of a famous paiting…
doesn’t seem like the rain is going to stop, so I head back to Osaka, but one last place to look at in okayama
..now what else to do in the rain but
Tenjinbashisuji – The Endless Shopping Arcade
well, I’m going to walk the whole 2.7 km and see what all the fuss is about…one annoying thing, there are all these mad Osaka-ites on bicycles weaving their way along the arcade in amongst the pedestrians!!!
Half way along I stop to try some
It’s cooked in front of you while you watch…
The stuff on top is Bonito flakes…they move from the heat of the food…when the spaniards had takoyaki in Kyoto..the moving stuff freaked them out…
I find something called a 100Yen shop in the arcade, I wonder if it is the same as the one my dad told me has just opened in melbourne. though not everything is 100 Yen, I find some weird trinket and get charge 105Yen (must be some type of tax).
The southern end of this shopping arcade emerges close to the fork in the river where I was yesterday…it is all lit up after dark
In the evening what better to do than watch a
TV Game Show
Several celebrities representing 4 different universities compete in a hilarious game show involving politics, maths, geography, linguistics and more…
Amazing that all these celebrities have university degrees
One of the questions was actually about Himeji Castle!
Another question involved classifying different types of taxes using a Venn diagram (I wonder if the 100 Yen store knows about this)
at this stage 2 contestants have already been eliminated, 6 get this question right (in RED) and the 4 in blue are now eliminated as well…hmmm is everything in Japan the opposite of the west?
This was the explanation of why the answer is the way it is.
This guy won…
Let’s end todays blog with the geometry problem from the show
I’ll post the solution tomorrow 😉
If you haven’t left a comment for me yet, now is a good time…I like to get comments.