Today - the last day of my 7 day rail pass. I'm 500+ miles from Tokyo but the Shinkansen will get me back Tokyo in just over 3 hours. Figure the math!
I keft Fukuoka stopping by Hiroshima to retrieve my wallet, as explained in the previous post. Because I had just a few yen I could not buy the many Kyushu treats I fell in love with overnight. Like the handmade ramen to go, and a wonderful sweet called Caramel Manchu by these folks. Akaifusen. When I go anywere in Japan asking for it, including in Tokyo, they say 'only in Kyushu'. Drat! But there's something nice about exclusive regional foods. You can zip around on the Shinkansen knowing that gifts you bring will be doubly appreciated.
Then onto to Himeji, home of Japan's most visited castle, Himeji-jo. I did not have time to tour this monolithic wedding-cake, but there is something about simply riding your bike past such a famous spot and rubbernecking like everyone else.
For my architect friend I made a special detour to visit the Tadao Ando-designed Museum of Literature. It required asking the help of several people, due to my non-existent Japanese.
I actually had the best bento box for 600 yen from a train station fast food bar. The woman simply knew hot to cook. It came with what I thought was a raw egg (tamago) that I was supposed to crack over the tempura when I got to my seat. I discovered it was a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg that just fell out of the shell. Miki-san tells me there is a technique to do that that I must google ... found it! Harris Salat in his Japanese Food Report does the tamago tell-all ...
And back to the premier stamping ground of the Salary Man ...