Japan 2019 Japan 2019 Main

Day 0 – Copenhagen – Kii Tanabe

As I write the first part og this post, I’m back in Japan, in fact at Wakayama station which was my base when I visited the Kii peninsula last year.

The trip has been smooth. Yesterday I packed in the morning, and Lene dropped me at the nearest metro station. The flight to Helsinki left late, but there was enough time for the connection.

AY 0077 to Osaka left on time and landed 30 mins early at 8.20 local time. I don’t usually see films, neither at home or on flights, but wasn’t tired, so saw two: Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born – the Queen film far the better of the two. I managed to sleep a couple of hours. Food is terrible on Finnair, I don’t understand why you can’t pay say 100 dkr extra to get better food.

Passport control took longer this year, but had collected my backpack and passed customs before 9am. Next stop was to find the post office at the airport where my wi-fi router had been sent. I handed in my passport and my router came return. I bought a box to send my  backpack cover and the book I took to read on the flight, but didn’t, to the hotel I stay on the last night, so I can save 500 gms when walking. They were used to helping foreigners sending packages. It cost 800 yen, ca. 6 euro.

Package sent, next was the station, where I purchased the ticket for the train to Kii-Tanabe, where I will arrive just before lunch. The weather is grey, with showers expected this afternoon. I was quickly reminded that you don’t come to Japan for the towns, which are mostly newer, detached, different from each other, built very close to each other, and seemingly without any town  planning. Luckily it isn’t the towns K will be visiting. Just now I have the mountains on one side of the train and water on the otherside. So all I need now is the sun. Yet another decorated train station celebrating cartoon figures.

I arrived at the hotel at 12:00, and expected them to tell me my room would be ready at 14:00, as seems to be the norm here. But the receptionist just handed me the key. I took a shower and decided to find a sandwich. There are no shortage of bakers (even one called Denmark) and shops selling sake. I walked down to the coast, but beyond an empty beach, there wasn’t anything to see.

On the way back I found an ATM to get some cash, and stopped at a UNESCO heritage shrine, the Tokei-jinja shrine and the Kaizo-ji temple – just to get into the swing of things and practice the different procedures.

Both were nice and well looked after, and there were many locals visiting the shrine. The temple was empty.

The shrine is called cockfighting shrine. During a local war between two clans, the navy did not know which clan to support. Therefore on this site a cockfight was arranged where 7 cocks with red feathers fought 7 with white. Based on the winner of the fight (the white), the navy chose sides.

I was beginning to feel tired, so I went back to the hotel for a couple of hours sleep. There wasn’t much to see.

As I write this, I am sitting in a restaurant, Akihei, and just had an excellent set dinner. More than anything else today, this meal reminds me of why I love visiting Japan, friendly people and fantastic food.

In a few minutes, I will be out in the rain and just now it is raining heavily. Weather wise it’s not been a great start, but the next few days should be more or less dry. The walking starts tomorrow, a bus ride and two steep climbs. So tomorrow I’ll know how tough this trip is going to be.


1 comment Add New Comment

  1. Kim B says:

    Great to see that you have arrived. Looking forward to following your adventure on this blog.

    Best wishes for dry weather tomorrow!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *