The plan for the day was to walk about 25 km along the coast and Highway 55. Well, as they say, the best laid plans sometimes go a stray. We decided to head off for the 7 am buffet breakfast at the hotel and then take the train for three stops to cut off 5 km of walking.
Here is a picture of the coast from the hotel restaurant on the 11th floor this morning.
After breakfast we headed for the Aki train station. There was an ohenro from the hotel there as well. I ask the ticket agent which train we should take and it was at 8:11 am from platform 2. When we got there at 8 am, a train had just arrived and our fellow ohenro was getting on the train. Then just as the train left the the station, Bob had a look of shock and said the train is going the wrong way. I didn’t notice and said guess we shouldn’t have followed the other ohenro.
We ended up getting off at the next station and would catch the train back. Needless to say, the next train wasn’t til 9:12 (more than an hour wait). So, I just had to accept my mistake and sit there listening to the sounds of the birds as we were the only two at the station.
When we caught the next train and got back to Aki station, I asked the train driver if this train went to our stop or did we need to change trains. He smiled and pointed this train would go to our stop. We figured we would have to pay an extra 150 yen (about $1.50) on top of what we already paid. When the train fare adjustment lady got on and asked to see our tickets we did our best to explain in sign language and pointing at the route guide we went wrong way one stop. She smiled and when I showed her extra 150 yen we would pay she said no, just use original ticket. She was so nice and friendly. Bob gave her a Canadian flag pin and the smile on her face when we said we were from Canada. As we got off the train we thanked her for her help.
As my friend Theresa says “everything happens for the best”. After we started to walk I said to Bob, maybe a wrong train mishaps happened for the best. We talked about how our incident enabled us to experience the kind hospitality and friendliness of the Japanese. So maybe taking the wrong train was meant to be and “happened for the best”.
We continued our hike along the coast reflecting on our wonderful experience to date.
I didn’t take any Temple pictures today, as we didn’t visit any. Tomorrow we will visit three Temples. Instead I took some pictures of the flowers along the way.
Along the way I stopped at a little antique shop, which I stopped at before, and took a picture..
As well, there was a shop that sells statues and I took a picture of the two statues that are in either side of the gate to the temple to scare away evil spirits.
Finally, one last picture of the view from my hotel room.
We walked to the Family Mart convenience store to see if they would accept non-Japanese visa credit cards for cash advance and the machine said it does not process non-Japanese cards. We tried a couple banks along the way and they were the same. Poor Bob is stuck with searching for 7 eleven convenience stores as these are the only ATM that will give him cash advances on his visa.
The weather was perfect for walking and it is supposed to be a nice day tomorrow as well.