Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Hiroshima and Matsuyama 5-Day Itinerary: Day Five

Read Day 1 here - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Manga Library
Read Day 2 here - Miyajima, Mount Misen
Read Day 3 here - Ferry to Matsuyama
Read Day 4 here - Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Onsen, Ishiteji Temple
Read Day 5 here - Return journey

The entire day 5 of our journey was spent trying to get back to Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県). We knew that it would take at least several hours so we went to JR Matsuyama Station (松山) by 10am to catch the 10:15am highway bus to Kobe (神戸). When we got there, we were told that every single highway bus to Kobe for that day was sold out! We should have known better to book ahead of time since it was Silver Week.

Fortunately we could still take the train. We bought the tickets in a rush 3 minutes before the train departed and we were on our way to Okayama (岡山). I could barely understand what the staff at the gate said but I believe she said that our tickets weren't for the express train so we would have to pay more on board. We did not want to wait an hour for the next train so we nodded and rushed onto the train.

Sure enough the train conductor came to check our tickets and notified us that we had to pay a fee. In total, the trip from Matsuyama to Okayama cost 6310 yen for the non-reserved seat option. The journey was 3 hours long and a bit shakey in the beginning since it was going so fast along the curvy coastline but the view was excellent. We were by the water most of the time and it was a sunny day.

Late lunch pho in Himeji
At Okayama, the normal JR trains to Himeji (姫路) were sold out. We weren't sure whether the JR staff was trying to say that it was sold out for the next few hours or the whole day but we opted to buy the Shinkansen tickets instead. The Shinkansen ticket from Okayama to Himeji for non-reserved seats cost 3220 yen each. The journey was a quick 21 minutes.

Although it cost more than the highway bus option, we were fortunate to have found a way back and be able to find seats in the non-reserved carts during such a busy holiday when everyone was returning to his or her respective cities on the same day.

That is all for my first Silver Week in Japan! We had a packed schedule and visited various places without overtiring ourselves.

Read Day 1 here - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Manga Library
Read Day 2 here - Miyajima, Mount Misen
Read Day 3 here - Ferry to Matsuyama
Read Day 4 here - Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Onsen, Ishiteji Temple
Read Day 5 here - Return journey
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