This was a great surprise. We were looking for a couple of stops to break up the Tokyo to Hiroshima journey. We did a little bit of searching and booked a night in Matsumoto. Unfortunately, all of the other places we looked at for the security be were booked up. So we opted for a second night in Matsumoto and what a good decision that was.
We were picked up from the station by the charming people from our hotel who pointed out the sights of the town. She also mentioned that it was the first night of the blossom festival. This is where the castle is floodlit, with music, food, tea ceremonies and blossom.
I have to say that I love Japan. It is one of my favourite places. It is very different to other countries in Asia or in Europe either for that matter. It reminds me a bit of Taipei, only (of course) with less Chinese influence. Not too surprising as Japan ruled Taiwan until the end of the second World War. Everything just works and works perfectly! People are really well mannered and when you live in China that's a big plus. It's clean and the natives are friendly... What more could one want?
When we were here before, Osaka was one of our favourite places. Osakians (?) have a reputation of being a bit brash and uncouth by Japanese standards, but that is by Japanese standards! So that's where we kicked off this time. The plan was to stay in Osaka a night and move onto to Kyoto, but we couldn't find accommodation at anything like a reasonable price so made full use of our Japan Rail passes and just travelled from Osaka to Kyoto.
The Umeda sky building is a relatively new addition to Osaka. It has a top floor viewing platform that is accessible via glass encased escalators. Needless to say Mrs E didn't fancy it over much so watched from the ground.
The Alhambra is one of Europe's most impressive buildings and, as such, is a touch busy. To regulate the flow of visitors you have to buy your tickets in advance and then get given a specific time slot on a specific day. Woe betide you if you miss your slot.
Not a problem... We knew all this and booked in advance to get the time slot we wanted. However, when we went to collect the tickets something had gone wrong and we had bought tickets for nearly a month later! Obviously, no tickets left for today. Not a happy camper! First job is to sell our tickets for the future back to the Alhambra.... Didn't cost us anything so a small plus.
There was one small silver lining. You could still book for the night-time slots. By the time we had gone round the Generaife (Which means overseer's garden in Arabic) we had bucked up at the thought of coming back later when it was fully dark.
I have to say it was excellent and in many ways better than going during the day time. Would like to do both in one day to compare and contrast.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.
All that's new and interesting