I knew it would happen. Alex’s AirPod earpiece fell out in the train and simply disappeared. The conductor and cleaners helped us move seats and search, but the train must go on and we must get out. And so somehow between Kurashiki and Okayama the earpiece simply disappeared.
And my Google Pixel 7 Pro is of no help,. frequently dropping it’s data connection, won’t handle music nicely and it’s being a pain in the arse to type on. I’m almost ready to throw it across the room, despite the good photos. I really wish I could buy a new Sony Xperia in Japan, but they don’t work properly in Australia.
So we made it to Kyoto and I am not in the best of moods to put it nicely. Everyone is glad to escape snowed in Matsue, but Kyoto is busy and full of foreign tourists and the snow is falling as sleet.
The snow makes for a stunning landscape on our Yakumo ride between Matsue and Okayama. Normally I dislike taking the same route twice, but the other routes are closed due to snow and this is the fastest way. Also, the snow means that the landscape has changed dramatically, making it almost a whole new journey.
I really do love the interior of the Chugoku region and one day I hope to explore it in more detail, especially with the railway lines under threat of closure.
We grab some sandwiches and a bento to take away from Okayama Station for our Shinkansen ride to Kyoto, everyone upset by the loss of the earpiece. The food is better from the specialist shops than the convenience stores.
The Okayama side has barely any snow, but levels vary as we approach Kyoto. Nothing like as heavy as on the Sanin Coast.
After arriving in Kyoto we drag our stupidly large amount of luggage straight to the subway and use the underpass at Shijo Station to walk to the Hotel Forza Shijo-Kawaramachi.
Kyoto is grey and miserable, trying to and failing to snow on the crowded streets.
We walk to the Apple store and drop dosh on a replacement earpiece. The things we do for our kids…
He promises to repay me back in Australia.
The other direction is towards the temples and geisha district. But it is sleeting and that does not look like fun. So we have an early dinner of all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu. The chain wins out because it is already open, but I wish we had waited for Yamafufu to open along the Pontocho. That was our first shabu-shabu experience and is always good.
We explore the Edion electronics.store below, buy Alex some much cheaper wireless headphones for use in the aircraft.
We take a walk, thankfully sheltered, along Kawaramachi-dori stopping at stores to look at this and that, including a little model railway shop hiding upstairs.
We return to the hotel as many shops are closing and all of us are tired. I regret some of our late adventures in Matsue, because it would have been nice to stay in and watch some Netflix. But there was dinner to find, hot baths to soak in and free ramen to eat.
No we are on our second last night and it feels like a waste to stay in the hotel.