Train travel from Fukui to Mihara
This marks the beginning of our spring vacation. Up until this point the only other trip we had taken in Japan since we arrived last August was that one time we went to Osaka for the weekend in our first month. We have been waiting and saving for an opportunity to use Mary’s generous vacation time to see more of Japan, that is one of our main purposes for being here in the first place. As wonderful as it can be, we did not move halfway across the world to spend all our time in Fukui prefecture.
We’re taking slow trains because we are using a special train pass called the “seishun 18 kippu”, or, “youthful 18 ticket”. For the low, low price of ¥11500, we get 5 days of unlimited train travel on slow trains. Since there are 2 adults in our family, that’s 2×2 days (and an extra one that we will use for a later adventure). The pass doesn’t have to be used on consecutive days.
It wouldn’t normally take 12 hours to get to Mihara, but since we can hop on and off the trains at any station we please we decided to stop for lunch in Kyoto and for a break in Himeji. There’s a really neat castle in Himeji that’s being restored until 2015. We saw the part of it that’s not hidden by scaffolding and temporary walls.
As for Mihara, it’s just another small Japanese city for all we know. We are staying in a traditional ryokan (inn) tonight. Their geocities.jp website says that it’s the oldest inn in Mihara. We chose a ryokan in Mihara because it’s close enough to Okunoshima, and Okunoshima has BUNNIES. More on that next time…