Today I was coming back to our apartment after an early morning walk and was waiting for the pedestrian light to change green when an older Japanese man came up to me.
“American?” he said with a thick accent. “No Australian” I said.
All of a sudden his eyes lit up and he started saying “Australian, swimming, swimming” and he was doing a swimming action with his hands. He was so cute! He ran back to his friends, pointed to me and was saying “Australia, swimming” to them.
I’m assuming it was all complimentary and I hope he didn’t think I personally was a swimmer (because I can barely float let alone move in the water) although I’m happy to take whatever adulation he felt on behalf of my country.
This morning we went to Shin Osaka station to find out about tickets for the Shinkansen (The bullet train).
We wanted to go to Hiroshima and found prices around 9710 yen to get there by bullet train. That works out to be about $128 AUD. Hubby thought that was a round trip ticket but turns out, that was a one way ride. When the lady put the sale through for the two of us, the price was 38840 yen. That works out to be about $512 AUD. For some reason, hubby looked at the price wrong and thought he was being charged 3840 yen which would only be about $50 AUD. We’re walking away and he’s grinning to himself and all I can think is shit, that’s a lot of money for a trip to Hiroshima.
When I said “Did you know it was going to be that much?” he replied “What do you mean? it’s way cheaper than I thought”.
“Over $500 is cheaper???”
And then the penny dropped for him. He went to another Shinkansen ticket office and the lady was kind but explained that was the cheapest price. We left and were walking down the station corridor with everyone else. We were about 400 metres away when we hear someone trying to get our attention and it was the lady from the ticket office. She brought us back into the store and said we could purchase a JR pass which would be way cheaper (available for tourists) and we could use it on other JR lines.
How stupid are we. Our fifth time in Japan and we’re only just finding out about the JR pass.
Anyway how nice was that lady? To come after us and hunt us down like that! So sweet.
So she refunded the original tickets and got us the pass for 29000 yen or about $380 AUD. We can use that ticket for the rest of our time here in Osaka on any JR line including the bullet train so guess what we will be doing over the next few days…
I could not believe how fast that train went!!! We had barely blinked and we were already in Kobe.
It actually took just under 90 minutes to get to Hiroshima. Our passes allowed us to get on the red sight seeing busses so we hopped on one and went right to Peace Memorial Park.
The first thing we saw was the Atomic Bomb Dome.
I could go into all the history but I’ll be way over my word limit. I DO encourage you all to learn about the history if you don’t already know.
It was a very sombre experience. Hubby and I mostly didn’t even talk. We were very emotional.
We then moved through the grounds to the museum.
Some of the scenes in the Museum we really very graphic. There were tons of groups of school kids going through and I wondered whether they should be looking at what was being shown.
We went back past Hiroshima Castle and here’s a few pics of that. Our mood was still really heavy.
It didn’t help our mood that it was now almost 4pm and we still hadn’t eaten lunch.
We walked up and down malls and nothing much caught our eye. There seems to be less English here I thought.
Finally we saw a Saizeriya restaurant. This is supposed to be an Italian restaurant and is a fairly large chain in Japan. Hubby didn’t even want me to write that we ate here because it’s cheap and nasty and gives small serves. It’s not really “italian” either.
For some reason I like it. I love their Doria dish.
We ordered a few little things and needless to say, hubby was more than disappointed when it came out.
If we’re arguing over where to eat next time, I don’t think I’m going to win it.
And after a little more shopping and sight seeing, it was time to get back on the bullet train for Osaka.
Oh before I finish I want to show you a pic of how big the alcohol bottles can be here! And I think these were only about $20 AUD each!
That just doesn’t sound right to me so I’m not sure about that.
I also had a can of Asahi Beer today! I’m not a beer drinker but I do find this one pretty refreshing.
Lastly, it’s now a very sensitive subject, but I know you’re wondering. Yes, the television is still on mute.
Oyasuminasai and sweet, silent dreams!