The first day “on the town”. Well, after waking up far too early, we were than treated with a yummy breakfast (i never tried to eat fried eggs with chopsticks, but hey, it works !).
The next adventure wasn’t far: Riding to the train station by bike, yippieh !!! Not only do we have to drive on “the other side”, but roads were kinda narrow and it was a bit cold and later it started raining. But no package tour to Japan would ever include this kind of entertainment program
After we found out how to get the tickets (actually fairly simple, once you accept that you have to put the money in first, before you can even see anything on the buttons), a short train ride brought deep into the heart of Himeji, where we explored the extensive shopping opportunities ( we are still wondering what kind of account these 2 young ladies are smiling for but it is seriously a window ad for a bank).
I was amazed by the mere amount of patchinko parlours, and wondering about the amount of people who obviously have the time during the day to play it. The same about young people later. The streets were filled as if it was a public holiday and no one actually had to work.
About half a mile away from the station is Himeji Castle. We did not go inside (this is planned for some other day) but we visited it’s park and Don told me all kind of gruesome stories about the sword bearing people who lived there many many years ago.
We later found Tower Records, and I spent already 80$ on the first day for CDs .. how shall that continue ??
Then we went back home, took a nap (well, I did) and went out again to be treated to some yummy Ramen and beers, and then we went to an “international bar”, where we were among other gaijin and listened to xmas music (oh, if you think you can escape the whole xmas dilemma by going to Japan, think again. We had xmas music around us ALL the time. And trees and decoration are just as much as in Manhattan)
The visual highlight of the day for me was watching Don and Hisako fighting each other in … A DANCE CONTEST … i was dropping my jaws about the game machines they had … you actually have to dance (and dance well) to score points ! And it even looked good (well, at least Hisako and Don did, i watched some other people later, they may have been faster, but they looked more like running)
Other games in this place include a guitar playing game, one where you have to be a precise DJ, or a good drummer. And the latest uses motion sensors which keep measuring if you are doing the right dance moves with your armes !!! … think “macarena drill machine” .. but again .. looked good !!! I was just amazed how easy it seems to get away from the whole “shoot em up” video game concept without looking like a lame excuse. Some of those dancing game look like a serious workout to me.