Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,


After breakfast and packing up for another travel day, we left our luggage in the ryokan for a bit to go see Itsukushima Shrine. It's a big sprawling structure that hovers over the water (when the tide is in) at the top of the cove where O-Torii lives. Despite the sprawl, it doesn't take too long to see; there are a lot of walkways. But we enjoyed it. We got to see a shinto wedding happening (which we took as propitious), took pictures of the cthuloid guardian lion statues and o-torii from the pier at the front, saw LOTS of schoolkids getting class pictures taken, and paid our respects to Okuni-nushino-mikoto (kami of matchmaking, among other things).

We then collected our luggage and took a different ferry back to Hiroshima, then a train to Hiroshima station, where we got new JR train passes. And lunch. And then we hopped on a shinkansen back to Osaka. I looked it up, and the Sakura from Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka goes 337.8 km in 88 minutes, which is an average speed of 145 mph. That's with four stops along the way, so I think it must spend a good chunk of the trip at its top speed of 167 mph (270 km/hr). And it's such a nice way to travel; I miss it already. You just walk through the turnstile at the station, go to the right track, wait a few minutes until the next one arrives (they run every 15-20 minutes, depending),
board, find a seat, and a couple minutes later you're on your way. That's it! No security lines, no checking luggage and collecting it afterwards, just get on and go. And the seats are comfortable, and there's legroom, and the ride is smooth, and there are vending machines... *le sigh*

Anyway, once we arrived in Osaka we made our way to our hotel for the last couple nights, the APA. Which took a bit of doing; we had some trouble figuring out where to cross the highways around Shin-Osaka station. But we got there, eventually.

Then we went back to the train station and caught another shinkansen back to Kobe. Kobe's only 20 miles away, but we took the shinkansen anyway because, hey, we have rail passes, so it's free. And it got us there in only 12 minutes. From there, we took the subway and another train to Shin-Nagata station, where we visited our old friend Tetsujin-28! There's a life-sized statue of the 60-foot tall robot that we saw and took a picture with 10 years ago, so we decided to go back and get an update picture, hooray!

And then we got dinner.

We went to Misono, a fancy teppanyaki restaurant. (Teppanyaki is the thing where the table is a big grill and they cook the food right there in front of you.) And we were in Kobe, we were on our honeymoon, and we had the budget, so we did the thing.

We spent ¥55,000 on the anniversary dinner for two: appetizer, lobster tail, salad, five kinds of fried vegetables, kobe beef, garlic rice and sunomono, miso soup with lobster, dessert, and a small bottle of sparking wine.

It. was. AMAZING.

Literally the best meal I've ever had. The other courses were all wonderful, but the big star was the kobe beef, and it was mind-boggling. I can't really describe it other than to say it was like steak, but perfect. It was completely tender, but with no softness and just the right amount of chew. And I even liked the wine!

So yeah, a huge and extravagant indulgence, but totally worth it.

And then we took another shinkansen back to Osaka, because that's the kind of day it was.

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