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Archive for June, 2015

We Bring the Rain

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 26, 2015

Sunday May 3, 2015

All Pictures

We all know who caused the rain.

Rain

It seems like whenever we camp too near to Hiroshima Prefecture it rains. Sometimes it stops raining for a few hours, but then someone gets bitten by a snake. We don’t mean for any of this to happen. We really have no idea how to stop the rain from following us other than by not camping within a 30 mile radius of Hiroshima prefecture.

We all tried to make it a good day despite the rain.

More Rain

We first went to the Izumo-Taisha shrine in Shimane prefecture. Mark and I had been there before. It’s not that far from our apartment in Miyoshi.

We followed our friends as they took tons of photos. They really liked the shrine but, I think they would have enjoyed it a bit more if the rain would have just stopped.

It’s raining? Let’s go to Starbucks.

It’s Raining… Still

I mentioned that the Starbucks across the street was the nearest Starbucks to my home. “You live that close to this shrine?” someone asked.

“No. I live about 1.5 hours away.”

As we passed by the coffee shop we noticed that there was a cookie themed drink on special. We had to try it. We all sat upstairs, out of the rain, and enjoyed the view of the entrance to the shrine, while consuming a whole day’s worth of calories in the form of one coffee based drink.

“It’s just another 45 minutes of walking up this hill and we’ll be there!”

Rain Won’t Stop Us!

The rain had not stopped by the time we got to the area where the old silver mine was. I say “area” because there was no way to drive anywhere near it. We had to find a bus station, take an overly crowded bus to somewhere closer to the mine, then walk up hill for about 45 minutes.

There were bikes to rent, but not everyone in our group wanted to ride bikes in the rain. There were also taxi-bicycles to hire. But, there were none to be found when we were at the bottom of the hill. We found 3 of them at the top, but they were waiting for the people who had hired them. Our timing was all wrong.

The rain might have stopped, but it’s still drippy in here.

So we walked to the top with our own 2 feet, or rather 12 feet. The mine was good in that it wasn’t raining (though, most cave-like things tend to be dank and drippy), we all got a %50 off foreigner discount, and we were now headed down hill.

Just typical minors

I was really hoping to see some silver, or silver rock. You know, an example of what silver minors looked for when mining. But there was no such thing. There were only drawings of the horrible conditions that minors had to deal with when mining.

It stopped raining for a whole 20 minutes!

We headed towards the next campsite with the plan that if it were still raining, we would try to rent a cabin somewhere. Where? I don’t know. There were no cabins anywhere near this campsite that we knew of.

It didn’t matter anyway. When we got to the  Campsite, the rain had stopped. We raced to get our tents up. Because this campsite was so crowded, we chose not to stay more than one night. In our rush to set up camp, we unpacked only what we needed for one overnight stay.

Once all the tents where up, the rain started again. This meant that grilling dinner was out of the question. We got some food from the nearest konbini, and ate next to many of the camper’s drying clothes and camping gear under the shelter of one of the few pavilions at the campsite.

Then we stayed up until midnight in one of our tents playing nerd games where we had to find killers, wizards, and good men.

All Pictures


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Izumo-taisha
(出雲大社)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°24’07.3″N 132°41’07.8″E

Address:

〒699-0701
島根県出雲市大社町杵築東195 出雲大社社務所内

195 Kitsukihigashi, Taisha-machi, Izumo-shi, Shimane-ken
699-0701

Phone:

  • +81 0853-53-3100

Websites:

Download:

e-mail:

  • sengu@izumooyashiro.or.jp

Cost:

  • Entrance – free
  • If you can get ¥45 worth of coins to stick in or on the straw rope (the rope in the photo above), you will have good luck.

Hours:

  • Always open

Notes:

  • This is a temple for the god of marriage.
  • When you pray at this temple, you should clap 4 times instead of the normal 2 times; 2 claps for you and 2 claps for your love or future love.
  • No one knows how old this temple is, but it’s pretty old.
    • Some think it’s the oldest shrine in Japan.
    • There is record of its existence way back in the early  700s.

Iwami silver mine
(石見銀山)
(Ishimi Ginzan)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°06’18.5″N 132°26’19.5″E
  • There is nowhere near the mine to park. You have to park your car near Oda Bus Center.
    • Take the bus to Omori-Daikansho-Ato bus stop. (250yen)
  • If you are going by train, you can get a bus at Oda-shi station to Omori-Daikansho-Ato bus stop.
  • Once at Omori-Daikansho-Ato bus stop, the mine is a mere 45 minute walk… up hill.
    • There is a bike rental place where you can rent regular and electric bikes.
    • There are also bike taxis, where you ride and pay someone else to do the pedaling.

Address:

〒694-0305 Shimane Prefecture, Oda, Omoricho, イ1597−3

Phone:

  • 0854-89-0183

Websites:

Cost:

  • 410 yen
  • 50% off with a foreign passport or ARC card.

Hours:

  • 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from December to February)

Notes:


Tamagawa Campsite
(田万川キャンプ場)
(Tamagawa Kyanpujō)

near

Tamagawa Onsen
(田万川温泉憩いの湯 )
(Tamagawa Onsen’ikoinoyu)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°39’09.7″N 131°39’44.3″E

Address:

Campsite: 〒759-3112 山口県萩市江崎

Onsen:

1740-1 Shimotama
Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture 759-3112

Phone:

  • Campsite: 08387-2-1150
  • Onsen: 08387-2-0370

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Campsite:
    • 1,000 JYN/ Night / Tent
  • Onsen
    • ¥ 410 / adult
    • ¥ 200-100 / kids

Hours:

  • Campsite:
    • 8: 30 ~ 19: 00
  • Onsen:
    • Closed Mondays
    • 10: 00 ~21: 00 (last admittance 20: 30)

Notes:

  • To check-in at the campsite, go to the front desk of the onsen.
  • This campsite is near or part of Yutori Park Tamagawa.
  • There are no tents to rent.
  • There is also RV camping for ¥ 1,000 per day.
  • I’m not sure it there are showers on the camp grounds, but there is that onsen nearby.

Map:

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Posted in Hagi 市, Izumo 市, Japan, Shimane 県, Yamaguchi 県, Ōda 市 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Garden Garden Bridge

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 19, 2015

Saturday, May 2, 2015

All Pictures

Yesterday’s liqueur becomes today’s breakfast treats.

Starting Off Every Morning

Mark and I are early risers. We don’t mean to wake up with the sun every damn holiday morning, we’re just cursed with this ability. We have the hardest time getting up in time for work, but we have seen just about every sunrise of every holiday and weekend for the past 3 years. Maybe this is a sign of old age.

We would have gone through everyone’s stuff, if we weren’t so lazy.

In our party, we were always the first up. We would quietly sit around, watch the sun come up, while reading e-books or listening to audio-books. Mark would start boiling some water and make us some coffee. It would be 2 or 3 hours until Freda and Roland emerged from their tent. In the mean time we would relax and lounge about the camp.

The garden makes Mark rethink his whole life.

Roland’s Flower Quest

This morning, as Roland announce the day’s schedule, he made a plea for us to not see him as a person who only thinks about gardens. He wanted us to believe that it was a mere coincidence that today’s (and yesterday’s) itinerary was so garden heavy. He tried to assure us that after today there would not be so many gardens in our lives.

Is that a new macro lens!?

I didn’t buy it for one second. Roland had recently bought a new fancy-shmanchy camera along with a few changeable lenses for it. After spending about 10 minutes at the Adachi Museum of Art, our first garden of the day, we knew why we had come. Roland was going to take a picture of every flower, rock, and blade of grass!

It’s easier just to steal Roland’s photos.

Not only did Roland have a better camera than any of us, he took photos that no one thought to take. At first I started to mimic his photo-taking. I would crouch down where Roland had just been, to get a similar picture for myself. But then I would look at his photo and compare it to mine. There was no contest; his was clearly better.

There is something a little cruel about a garden you cannot go into.

When we got to the museum Mark and I expected to be bored the whole time. We aren’t art loving people. We like art, but we don’t love it. It helped a lot that the 2,300 yen entrance fee was sliced in half after we showed our ARC cards. We were only going to pay half as much to be tormented by art.

But the museum was much more than art. At the Adachi Museum there was art you could look at, but not take photos of, and a garden you could take photos of, but not enter. I loved the garden. And, at the very least, it gave me something to photograph as a keepsake of this experience.

The museum, the art portion of it, goes on and on and on. Every time we thought we had gotten to the end of it, someone in our group would discover another floor, passageway, bridge, or whole other section.

I bought a postcard in the gift shop before realizing that we were only halfway through. I wish I had known, because I liked the pictures in the second half of the museum better, and would have much preferred a postcard of one of them.

I’m sure Roland’s photo of these flowers don’t have that bar in it.

Next we drove to Daikon island to check out their Peony Festival. Before this trip I had no idea what a peony was, much less that there are many types of them. I don’t really know that much about flowers. I can distinguish sunflowers, tulips, and maybe carnations. I thought I could tell a rose from a non-rose, but I mistook a bunch of roses at the festival for peonies, so…

Mark is more than happy to pose for any and everyone!

This was a garden done right. It more than made up for our not being able to walk in the earlier garden. Here we felt free to walk up to and pose with the many flowers. I even got several sniffs in. This place smelt so good. It gave me an idea of what those Glade Plug-in people are trying to do. But, the garden was 10 times better than any Plug-in.

Mark loves the drapey flowers.

Just be aware that, with this many flowers around, there are many bees. No one got stung. Most bees have the attitude that if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. They are not unlike tired people on the subway after work that way.

Lots of photopportunities!!

At one point during the garden, Freda and I sat down waiting for all the guys to take their obligatory 200 photos. We found an ice cream vendor in the garden and hoped that they had peony flavored ice cream. (You can usually count on tourist sites in Japan to have a themed ice cream flavor.) But, this time the choices were yogurt, matcha, or honey.

“Hey, it’s a few blocks away from here!”

On our way back to the parking lot we found this poster. Since the bridge it advertised wasn’t too far away, we went to check it out.

Half those people are on the bridge just to be on the bridge.

We stopped to take photos of it, then we drove across the bridge just to drive across the bridge. It looks a lot scarier than it really is. When you’re on the bridge, it’s no big thing.

Let’s end this with one of Roland’s photos.

All Pictures


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Hoshikami Star Park
(星上山スターパーク)
(Hoshikamiyama Star Park)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°23’14.5″N 133°07’55.6″E

Address:

星上山スターパーク
〒690-2102
島根県松江市八雲町東岩坂3050−3

Phone:

  • 0852-54-2450

Websites:

Downloads:

e-mail

Cost:

  • For Camping per night:
    • 300 Yen per person +
    • 510 per tent
    • and an additional 300 per night for use of the kitchen
  • Bungalow one night basic charge 6500 yen
  • 100 per non-timed shower

Hours:

  • Reception: 9:00~18:00
  • Check-in 15: 00 ~ Check out 10: 00

Notes:

  • Reservations are needed to stay at this campsite. Call before you go.

Adachi Museum of Art
(足立美術館)
(Adachi Bijutsukan)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°22’47.6″N 133°11’38.8″E
  • There is a free shuttle from JR Yasugi Station, JR Yonago Station, Tamatsukuri Spa, Kaike Spa and ANA Hotel Yonago.

Address:

320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi, Shimane, 692-0064, JAPAN

Phone:

  • ( +81 )0854-28-7111

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • 2,300yen
    • Bring your passport or ARC for a 50% foreigner discount
  • They accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners and JCB.
  • It’s 500 Yen for audio devices that offer information in Japanese, English or Mandarin.
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • April-September: 9:00-17:30
  • October-March: 9:00-17:00

Videos:

Notes:

  • It takes about 2 hours to see the whole museum.
  • Do not leave the museum until you are sure that you’ve seen the whole thing. Re-entry is not allowed.
  • Don’t shop at the first gift shop, until you’ve seen the second gift shop.
  • Photos are not allowed inside the museum. You can, however, take photos of the gardens.
  • You are not allowed in the gardens; you can only look at the gardens.

Yuushien garden
(由志園)
(Yushien)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°29’26.3″N 133°10’31.7″E

Address:

1260-2 Hanyu, Yatsuka-cho, Matsue-shi, Shimane-ken

Phone:

  • 0852-76-2255

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • 600yen
    • Bring your passport or ARC for a 50% foreigner discount
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • 8:30 – 17:30

Notes:

  • Every year around the end of April and the beginning of May there is a Peony Festival.

Ejima Bridge
(江島大橋)
(Ejima Ohashi)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°31’08.5″N 133°11’59.3″E

Phone:

  • 0859-42-3706 (Sakai Port)

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free
  • There is an area where you can park for free for a short time.
    • This parking area is on the Shimane side of the bridge.
    • This would give you enough time to take several photos of the bridge.

Hours:

  • always avaible

Videos:

Notes:

Map:

Posted in Daikon Island, Honshū, Japan, Matsue 市, Shimane 県, Yasugi 市 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Summer Clothes

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 12, 2015

Friday May 1, 2015

All Pictures

Let’s spend the day driving!

It’s summer already?

This day we spent mostly driving from the east coast of Chūgoku to the west coast. It didn’t take all day, it just felt like it did. Japan has a lot of mountains and to get anywhere here, you have to drive around one or two of them at least.

The South Africans in full Uniqlo gear.

But before we went any wear, we stopped to get some new clothes. Everyone guessed wrong about what the weather would be like on this trip. Mark and I thought this early May weather would bring cold winds. We brought extra blankets, jeans, and long sleeve t-shirts.

The South Africans, living on Kyushu, thought that summer had already started. They packed shorts, light t-shirts, and one light blanket.

We were all wrong. It was hot during the day, making Mark and I miserable, and cold at night freezing Freda and Roland. The only thing to do was to go shopping. Mark and I would get some summer clothes and our friends would get some fleece pajamas. Since there was a Uniqlo nearby – there is nowhere in Japan where there isn’t a Uniqlo nearby – we went there.

Uniqlo is a clothing store much like Old Navy in the states. The clothes are not too expensive and not too flashy. It’s a great place to buy cardigans, jeans, khakis, and t-shirts. (There are a couple Old Navy stores here in Japan, but they are all in the big cities like Tokyo or Kobe.)

A lot of stores in Japan have a distinct feel to it, of who shops there. Like there are some stores that give off a kindergarten teacher vibe, or an adult who still dresses like a 6-year-old vibe. Uniqlo doesn’t have that. It has a more normal person type of vibe.

Mark’s Campbell Soup shirt and pants from Uniqlo

I’ve gone to Uniqlo with Mark a couple times. He has bought jeans, shirts, and even suit jackets there. I had never looked for anything for myself though. I’m 5’9″ and I am not super skinny, so I never thought I would find anything to fit me. And to be honest, I felt very uncomfortable just being in any clothing store in Japan. In my head. everyone is looking at me wondering what this big hulking foreigner is doing looking at clothes that is clearly too small for her.

And for most stores that would be true. …Not the people judging me, the part about the clothes being clearly too small for me. Uniqlo, it turns out, carries larger sizes. At home in the US, I’m a size L. Here, I’m an XL. Most stores don’t have XL for women, with Uniqlo being one of the few exceptions.

Mark and I are now crazy for ¥500 shirts.

Not only did I find clothes in my size, they were on sale! I even got some summer business shirts for work. Of course all the shirts and blouses are short-sleeved. My arms are too long for winter attire. But, I fit into Unqlo’s summer shirts just fine.

Now, several weeks after this trip, every time Mark or I pass a Uniqlo, we pop in to look through their shirts that are on sale for¥500. UT shirts (Uniqlo T-shirts) go on sale every few weeks.

Once again, I did nothing to put up any of these tents or tarps.

After getting to Uniqlo and finding most of the stuff we wanted on sale, we bought more stuff than we should have. Then we went to the onsen for showers, put on our new clothes, and headed for the next campsite.

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to askwhatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

Hoshikami Star Park
(星上山スターパーク)
(Hoshikamiyama Star Park)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°23’14.5″N 133°07’55.6″E

Address:

星上山スターパーク
〒690-2102
島根県松江市八雲町東岩坂3050−3

Phone:

  • 0852-54-2450

Websites:

e-mail

Cost:

  • For Camping per night:
    • 300 Yen per person +
    • 510 per tent
    • and an additional 300 per night for use of the kitchen
  • Bungalow one night basic charge 6500 yen
  • 100 per non-timed shower

Hours:

  • Reception: 9:00~18:00
  • Check-in 15: 00 ~ Check out 10: 00

Notes:

  • Reservations are needed to stay at this campsite. Call before you go.

Uniqlo uniqlo
(ユニクロ)
(YOU-nee-klo)

How to get there:

  • There are many in Japan, throughout Asia, Europe, and a few in North America.

Address:

Headquarters:

Midtown Tower, Akasaka
9-chome, Minato, Tokyo,Japan

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Moderately priced clothing
  • Things go on sale all the time
  • There are 500yen ($5) t-shirt shelves.

Hours:

  • about 11:00-21:00 depending on the location

Videos:

Notes:

  • In the store, sizes for adults start from XS and go to XL.
  • If you go online you can get adults sizes up to XXL.
  • Japanese sizes are one size up from US sizes.
    • If you wear M in the US, you wear L in Japan.
    • XS -> S, S -> M, L -> XL and so on…
    • This is true for both men and women sizes.
    • I don’t know about kids’ clothes.

Map:

Posted in Japan | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Back in Okayama

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 5, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

All Pictures

“If we were to have showers, this is where we would have put one of them.”

We have them, we just don’t like unlocking them

When Mark and I stayed at this campsite the year before, we saw that there were showers. We did not use them since they were all locked. It was mid-fall at the time, and we thought that that was the reason the showers were locked. (This sort of thing happens in Japan; the campsite is available year round, but some facilities like the showers are only unlocked from May to September.) So when our friend picked this campsite we gave no objections.

Bathing option number 2…

Roland stopped one of the campsite caretakers to ask what time the showers would be unlocked. He gave us a look that showed his disdain for uppity city-folk, then gave us directions for some sketchy onsen over yonder. I know I was in Japan, but at that moment I felt like I was in the American deep south. Then the caretaker walked away mumbling to himself and chewing on a straw of hay. (Okay, there was no hay…)

We couldn’t find the onsen the strange caretaker told us about, but we managed to find a nice inexpensive one not too far from where we were. We got in and showered, even taking some time to soak for a few brief minutes before going to meet the South African friends of our South African friends.

My delicate little flower… Mark.

Mark and I had already seen everything that Okayama had to offer. We lived there for a whole 7 months. So, we really didn’t care what we saw that day. We were just happy to hang out with our old nerdy friends. I don’t know if this is their, or our, or both couple’s last year here in Japan. During the whole trip there was an ominous feeling of an end of an era.

We’ll always have Okayama.

We all made hypothetical plans to meet up in some country or another to do one more camping trip, but who knows if that will actually happen. This is how life is for a wandering ex-pat. You make great friends, but everyone knows that one day you or they or both will move away, and you might see them rarely, if ever.

Roland never stopped taking photos.

We walked through the gardens and passed the castle. We never went into the castle itself, choosing instead to take photos of it from the garden. The best part of most Japanese castles are the photos of it from the outside.

Guess where I got most of the great photos of this trip.

With nothing left to do in Okayama city, we headed to Kurashiki’s historic area. We walked along the canal. Our friends caught up with their friends and the six of us, 3 couples, moved through this romantic area.

“Is this organic denim soft serve?”

This town makes denim. Apparently, it is famous for it. There are many denim shops in the history area and one of them sells everything denim; from jeans and hats, to burgers and ice cream. Yup, ice cream!

You can clearly see in the photo above a cone of denim ice cream, a denim burger, denim Chinese dumplings, and denim meat buns, which are all sold out. Mark and I could not pass up a chance to try denim soft serve ice cream. The denim burger, we could pass on; quite easily.

Tastes like the Gap…

The ice cream was actually flavored with the taste of the plain marble sodas that are common here in Japan. It was okay.

That evening all 6 of us when back to the campsite for a grilled dinner. Only 4 of us spent the night at the camp grounds. The other two would join us at the next campsite. They had not done much camping before and this was their first camping trip in Japan. We would show them the rope.

classic ring toss

All Pictures


 

Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

How to get there:

You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.

Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
    • ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
    • The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
  • You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)

 


Sunagawa Park
(砂川 キャンプ場)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°42’11.1″N 133°45’22.7″E

Address:

〒719-1105
岡山県総社市黒尾792

Phone:

  • 0866-92-1118

Websites:

Cost:

  • 1,000 JPY per tent for night camping
  • 500 JPY per tent for day camping
  • Parking is free

Hours:

  • Open year round except for Dec. 29 – Jan. 3
  • Night camping 14:00 ~ 10:00
  • Day camping 10:00 ~ 17:00

Notes:

  • There is a persimmon grove where you can buy fruit in the fall.
  • Take your trash home with you.
  • You need to make reservations before hand.
  • There is a water slide that you (if you’re super skinny) and your kids can use in the summer.
  • There are showers, but they seem to never be unlocked.
  • The toilets and non-flush and, depending where your camping spot it, a long walk from your tent.

Zō no Yu Onsen
(蔵のゆ)
(Hot water of Kura)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°36’36.4″N 133°46’44.2″E

Address:

121-1 Ojima Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture 710-0047

Phone:

  • 086-435-9722

Websites:

Cost:

  • 410 yen – onsen 
  • 750 yen – onsen and sauna

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 0:00

Notes:

  • There is a ramen shop in the lobby area.
  • Bring a towel.
  • Shampoo and body wash are provided.

Okayama Castle
(岡山城)
(Okayama-jō)

&

Korakuen Garden
(後楽園)
(Kōraku-en)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34° 39′ 54.65″ N, 133° 56′ 9.79″ E

Address:

2-chome Marunouchi, Okayama-shi, Okayama

Phone:

  • Castle: +81 86-225-2096
  • Garden: +81 86-272-1148

Websites:

Cost:

  • Castle – 300 yen
  • Garden – 400 yen
  • Castle & Garden – 560
  • Prices vary when there are special exhibits.
  • Parking is near the Garden. It costs 100 Yen/ hour.

Hours:

  • 9:00 ~ 17:30
  • last entry is at 17:00
  • close Dec 29 – 31

Downloads:

Notes:

  • Parking is near the Garden. It costs 100 Yen/ hour. (This is amazingly cheap for city parking!)

Kurashiki
(倉敷市)
(Kurashiki-shi)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°35’45.7″N 133°46’16.8″E

Address:

1 Chuo, Kurashiki City, Okayama

Phone:

  • 086-426-3411 (Sightseeing Department)

Websites:

Notes:

  • This town makes a lot of denim.
  • Kurashiki has a preserved Edo Period (1603-1867) canal area.
  • There lots of shops in the historical district.
  • There is also a pricey hotel in the Ivy Square area.

Map:

Posted in Honshū, Japan, Kurashiki 市, Okayama 県, Okayama 市, Sōja 市 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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