Today is our second day (first full day) in Kurashiki, and we walked all over the place. We saw some really beautiful buildings and had some great food. We noticed while walking around town that although this is clearly a tourist destination, it seems to be a local one, geared to the Japanese and not at all to foreigners. There is almost nothing written in English here (as opposed to Tokyo), so Ken and I were feeling pretty happy that we had maybe been visiting something that Americans rarely come to in Japan. While we are here, we are staying at a lovely little hostel called Cuore, with a cute design and decent rates. If you don’t mind sharing the shower and bathroom, it is pretty awesome and the people who work here very nice. Tomorrow morning we head to Kyoto.
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Today Ken and I left Tokyo, catching a bullet train to a small town in the south called Kurashiki. Getting to Tokyo station, getting on our train, transferring to a local train from Okayama to get here – all of it was a breeze. I am very impressed how, even though we don’t speak Japanese, all the transport here is so well organized and labeled that it is very easy to figure out and use. Ken and I paid extra for the “green” (first class) pass (which actually wasn’t all that pricey at about 20% more than regular), and I have to say the trains were beautiful, spotless and comfortable. Why oh why can’t we have something like this in the US? One thing that was a bit odd: At the highest speed on the train (about 200mph), Ken and I both felt a little bit queasy, almost seasick. But that quickly subsided when the train stopped. On the suggestion of my friend Alex, we made our way to the town of Kurashiki where we now find ourselves for a couple of days. So far, the place is absolutely gorgeous, it is a historic city of old warehouses and a canal. We will stay here a couple of days and then head to Kyoto. You can see today’s pictures by clicking on the image below: