Iseji Japan 2019

Day 20: Kii-Katsuura to Wakayama

Today was travel and rain day. The hotel served yet another great meal for breakfast. I cannot recommend the food enough, it really is excellent, but why ketchup on the omelette.

I paid my dues at the hotel and walked to the station through the streets that almost feel like home. I really like Kii-Katsuura, it is both beautiful and ugly and there is pretty much nothing to do. The bay with islands  is really beautiful, the port and the town itself pretty ugly, and once you’ve seen the fish auction there is nothing else to do. But still I have enjoyed it here both times..

Just as the train arrived, it started to rain. I took a picture of the train arriving .. when in Rome …

It’s a three hour journey and I wrote the blog for day 19 as we travelled the 180km along the coast, past small fishing villages, through tunnels and stopping at many stations.

Wakayama was my base for three nights last year, and nothing has changed. Even the car I loved last year was in the same place, on show in the station. I thought it was called Carbus, which I thought was a pretty imaginative name, but it turned out to be called Canbus, a pretty unlucky name in my opinion. Who wants to be driving around in a can.

I handed in my backpack at the hotel, as I knew they wouldn’t let me check-in before 15:00. It was raining hard now, and I must have looked pretty wet as the receptionist got a towel so I could dry myself. I paid 50€ for the room with a decent breakfast, and they still are so service minded. They also told me that the package I had sent from the airport with a book and the backpack cover had arrived.

I decided to wander around the department store next to the station, Kinetsu, to find something to eat. Eventually I ended up on the 5th floor where they had a department with art for sale. They evidently showcase different painters periodically, and this week it was an artist called Yasukawa Shinji. I really liked his work and immediately fell for a picture of the four heavenly kings.

I asked if I could purchase the picture without the frame but was told no. I left a bit disgruntled, but found a place to eat sushi for lunch. As it was past 15.00 I returned to the hotel and checked in.

I spoke to my wife on the phone and decided to go back again. This time they found somebody who could speak English and take decisions, and she made a call and everything was OK. She even called up to find how much the frame cost so they could deduct that from the total. She also knew exactly how to pack it in for travel, and as I left stood and waved to me until I was no longer in sight.

I dropped it off at the hotel and went back to the station and listened to a busker sing Japanese and English songs, and watch the world go by. It was still raining.

I bought sushi from the supermarket and ate it for dinner, whilst I washed clothes again – this time definitely for the last time.

I still hadn’t found the CD I was looking for, so I searched for CD’s in Wakayama, and as it had stopped raining, decided I’d go find the place closest to the hotel, a 15 minute walk away. I asked the guy at the desk for Ryuichi Sakamoto and he showed me where to find them – they were used CDs. I selected a couple and a couple with Joe Hisaishi and went to pay. The guy told me, you can’t buy them, but you can rent them. It is Japan’s answer to Blockbuster and still going strong. There were lots of young people renting games and dvd’s.

Back at the hotel I went to bed. Day 21 will be my last day in Japan, with a flight at 1.30am. I’ll write about my last day and conclusions, when I am back in Copenhagen.

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