11.11.2009 - 11.11.2009 19 °C
When packing for Japan we decided to include a few boxes of Carman's muesli. Sometimes when travelling all you want to do is get a quick breakfast in your tummy and get on with the day. So it was time to break out the muesli. What was hilarious was we forgot to pack anything to eat it in or with figuring we'd just use the cups they give you in the rooms to make coffee. Ok that worked but unfortunately this being Japan, like the kid in the matrix, we soon discovered there is no spoon.
Time for some ingenuity, we went downstairs to the convenience store (named love drug convenience)
and got some ice creams in the hope he'd give us some spoons. Nope wrong again we got wooden popsicle type sticks to scoop it with. Fuckit that'll do, and we managed to scoop our cereal into our mouths and get on with our day trip to Kurashiki.
Inauspiciously it started with much confusion on the train when we got off at the wrong station. We were in the first carriage and because of the rain and the windows being misty we couldn't see what station we were at. This was one of those rare times we didn't work out the number of stations between embarking and disembarking so were a little out of our element! But we soon got that sorted and arrived in Kurashiki on the next train.
The main attraction of Kurashiki is the ancient merchant quarter, called the Bikan historical area. It was really quite beautiful. It's a small area of preserved merchants houses alongside a canal. By the time we got there it was raining but not unpleasantly so.
After wandering around for a bit we decided it was time for lunch. We searched around and everything looked good but we kept looking to see if something looked better. Eventually in one of the back streets we found the place we wanted to eat at. There was a bit of a wait until a table became free (always a good sign) and eventually we were seated. We both ordered a set which consisted of tempura, udon noodles and a seafood rice mixture which had mussels in it. Accompanying that was a local malt beer called doppo, which was modelled after german beer.
Needless to say the ensemble was just amazingly good.
After lunch we checked out Japan's first modern art museum, the ohara. It contains masterpieces by El Greco, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, and Renoir. Needless to say Vanessa was in her element, she loves that stuff. :D
With that done, we wandered around a bit more looking at the shops. Bought a nice bottle of local sake which is 70% alcohol (save that for tokyo!). And called it a day.