Date of Travel: 19/02/2012
…You know how sometimes you just end up spending your day in a really bad mood? Maybe it is because you are tired, or that you got up on the wrong side of the bed, or maybe something as small as not having what you wanted for breakfast. This was my day…and it was a shame too as this day marked the halfway point of our trip.
Our aim for the day was the reach Kanazawa by 4:30 pm, check into our accommodation, then explore the city centre before having dinner. We got off to an alright start at Matsuyama, successfully checking out of our accommodation and arriving at the Matsuyama JR station on time. There, we got some breakfast, and hopped on a train towards Okayama. There, I bought a large bento for lunch.
From Okayama, we hopped onto a shinkansen towards Shin-Osaka station. When we hopped off the shinkansen, there was still plenty of time before the next train out to Kanazawa. As it was quite cold and I was quite tired, I decided to buy a warm can of BOSS coffee from the vending machine. Brownie however decided to be a prankster and blocked me from using the vending machine. After unsuccessfully trying to push him out of the way, I got pissed off…and punched him in his gut. After buying the coffee, we ended up having a verbal spat at each other for a few minutes while J.C. was trying to figure out what was going on. Safe to say, the ride from Shin-Osaka station to Kanazawa was definitely an awkward one. The snow covered scenery and the sight of a giant statue would’ve been awesome, had it not been the dark cloud resulting from the fight hanging over my head. Thankfully, both of us saw eye to eye and apologized to each other when we got off at Kanazawa station, as all grown men should. We shook hands, and decided to leave the quarrel behind us.
Despite arriving in Kanazawa on time, the drama for the day had not ended. We were deciding whether to take the east of the west exit. Knowing that the accommodation was located to the east, I suggested taking the east exit. J.C. however was absolutely sure that it was the west exit. Not taking no for an answer, J.C. headed out towards the west. Brownie and I followed as we didn’t want to get separated, though I was still in a foul mood. After wandering for about 20 minutes and still not coming across our accommodation, we ended up running into some kids at a local park. I think those kids were quite terrified when three suspicious looking guys lugging around large items of baggage showed up and started talking in broken Japanese. We gave up trying to communicate shortly after, and started heading back the way we came. We then saw a couple leaving their house, and started to approach them. The woman saw us and started panicking and started to walk faster. The guy however was more calm and collected, and managed to communicate to us in English. He then pointed out that we were on the wrong side of the station afterall! We headed back the way we came, exited out the east exit, then came across the famous Kanazawa station gate which I was expecting to see at the entrance to the station! I was initially furious, but then realized how hilarious it was looking back at it which eased away all the tension!
After a short 5 minute walk from the station, we arrived at Shibaya Ryokan. We got shown to our rooms shortly after, where we sat down and relaxed for a while. The ryokan was nowhere as grand as Yamamizuki and Jukeiso (obviously as there is a huge price difference). However it was quite cosy and homey.
As it was already quite late, we decided to head over to the mall next to the train station to find some dinner then call it a night. After dinner, we explored the mall for a while, but then stumbled across an Italian restaurant showing a large wax model of a loaf of bread with an ice cream on top, which is known as Honey Toast. Despite the fact that we were all full, we decided to share one Honey Toast as it looked so damn good. And it tasted even better! The bread was actually cut into smaller chunks and coated with honey before the whole loaf was toasted. It was definitely the best desert we had throughout the whole trip. Definitely made what was a pretty crappy day pretty good in the end! After exploring for a while longer, we headed back to the ryokan to do some laundry and get some rest after yet another exhausting intercity trip.
Tram from Dogo Onsen to Matsuyama JR Station – 150 yen
JR Trains covered by JR National Pass
Shibaya Ryokan – 2,880 yen
Breakfast from convenience store at Matsuyama station – 644 yen [Sandwich, shiffon cake, pocky and water]
Lunch from bento shop at Okayama station – 1000 yen
Boss coffee at Shin-Osaka station – 120 yen
Dinner at 実演手打うどん杵屋 @ Forus Kanazawa – 980 yen
Desert at イタリア食堂まかない亭 @ Forus Kanazawa – 367 yen [Honey toast]
N/A ~all free~ […not that we went anywhere…]
Souvenir at Matsuyama JR Station – 365 yen [Tart keychain]
Clear-file for storing pamphlets, tickets etc – 241 yen
Laundry – 467 yen
TOTAL (cost for whole trip in brackets)
7,214 yen (435,647 yen total