Saturday, September 19, 2015
GAWA Day #4: Shinkansen to Kanazawa and Matsumoto
The mass of humanity in the train stations sort of reminds me of China. However, at least everyone here stands in line and there is controlled order.
The day was both relaxing, triumphant and disappointing. First, I had to somehow find my way to Miyazaki on September 21, and back to Kyoto on September 23. Seats are just not available during Silver Week. The Japan Rail girl who tried to do the impossible on her computer made funny noises when things did not look good. My heart sank a dozen times just trying to understand what she was doing. On a couple of instances she agonized, looked up at me, and shook her head in despair. After all the clicking and bewailing, she did it. All is now well.
Called the Hokuriku Shinkansen, this new line connects Tokyo Station to Kanazawa in 2.5 hours.
I noticed one of the stops is Toyama, home town of my mother.
Then back to Matsumoto to visit Pearl's Gold Koi. I had around 50 minutes, when my ride back to Tokyo was to depart, and knew that if I walked quickly, I could make that roundtrip to Matsumoto Castle in 45 minutes. However, I did not want to take a chance, so I caught a taxi. After ten minutes, the cab moved all of 100 yards, so I told the driver to return back to the train station. If I had missed that return train, maybe I might have had to spend the night in Matsumoto. On my return to Shinjuku Station, I found a way to return to Matsumoto on September 25. This was easy, for Silver Week will end on September 23.
A good part of train travel is eating. Here were my meals today:
On my way back to my room, I bought a Tokyo Borscht, beer and Burger King set:
The soup cost $7, Burger King set $5 and beer $2. $14 for dinner, not bad, considering how much Victor's cost last night and, tonight, I have a reservation at La Tour d'Argent, where the very first in Paris is rumored to have opened in 1582. The home restaurant has 450,000 bottles of wine but both only have one Michelin star each. Jiro's has 3 stars. The Tokyo establishment is now 31 years old, located in the New Ohtani Hotel.