I hopped on the direct bullet train to Nagoya, man we need this kind of infrastructure in the UK! By the time I got to Nagoya it was pouring with rain, luckily I had my huge umbrella with me to keep my backpack and me relatively dry as I walked to Nagoya Travellers Hostel. Walking down the main road to the hostel, I could hear classical music being played from somewhere when I realised there were speakers on most of the lamp posts and it was being played down the street. It made for a bizarrely nice atmosphere, especially in the rain. Not really wanting to do much exploring in the rain as my shoes were already sopping and not fancying getting another pair drenched, I headed out for some food at a nearby curry house. The food here is so tasty, on the way back I decided to kill a bit of time in Starbucks before monging out in the hostels common area.
The following morning, I was much happier to see that the rain had passed and we were back to a warm and sunny day. After grabbing a spot of breakfast, I headed to Nagoya Castle and joined the hordes wandering about admiring the cherry blossom, from the observation room of the castle you could see the snow-capped mountains in the far distance as it was such a clear day. Realising that I had not yet seen the iconic Mount Fuji, and since I had an unlimited train pass, I decided to embark on a crazy 4hour round trip to Fuji to see this monstrosity. So I hot footed to the station, jumped on the first train to Fuji and enjoyed the passing views on tea fields, farm land and mountains. As I headed further north, I noticed the sky getting darker and cloudier. When I got off the train, it was very dark and thinking I should be able to see the mountain by now and I couldn’t, I felt a bit despondent. Oh well, no point wasting my time here, so I walked over to another station in the quiet town of Fuji and grabbed the train to Fujinoyima, again no luck here seeing the beast and now I was more or less at its base! I had a walk around this town and stumbled across a temple where a traditional Japanese wedding was taking place, which was nice to watch for a few moments. Before deciding to slowly start making the long journey back to Nagoya.
Back in Nagoya, night time had descended and I went for a walk around the Shike-michi district with its authentic merchant Japanese style buildings dating back to 1740, it really was like stepping back in time! From there, I went meandered around these streets until I found a long undercover shopping arcade to explore as they were shutting up for the night. Then it was on to find food where I ended up going for another curry and then another Starbucks, but the guys were lovely and gave me a free sample of cheesecake, which I noticed they didn’t offer to anyone else. I wasn’t going to turn down any free stuff. On the way back to the hostel, I passed a couple of street drummers with a full kit, having a ‘drum off’ they were amazing and bounced off each other perfectly. I couldn’t bring myself to leave, after at least half an hour and getting cold, I headed back to the hostel to warm up before heading to head, ready for a long journey the next day travelling most of the country to Kitakyushu.