We ferry back to Tadanoumi from Okunoshima. The train comes shortly but it’s 2 hours to Onomichi so we go back to Family Mart for some snacks. They have some great looking steamed buns at the cash. It’s a bunanza! We get a couple and a corn dog too. It comes with an amazing ketchup and mustard package that you tear in half and it distributes both at the same time.
This bun is spicy!
The train drops us back off at Mihara and we only have 3 minutes to get off, get our bags out of the lockers, and get back to catch the one to Onomichi. We race off the train. Run down to the gate 2-3 stairs at a time. People staring. This is the first ticket guy to actually take the JR passes and look at them. C’mon man! We run to the locker and rip our bags out. Oh tanuki is it stuffy in there? Race back through the gate, up the stairs. Train is still there. Press open and get on. How come no one else is getting on? And no one in the train? Too late. Doors close. Fuck! Oh, it says Mihara. Phewf. Put our bags up and sit down. Ok what’s next? Train stops. What we get off here? Grab bags, phone still in hand, heart still racing from last stop. Ok. Yes this is right. And only 7 minutes until the Onomichi train. Sweet, we’ll be there by 8. Time enough for drinks in a new city.
We pull into Onomichi and exit out the north gate of the station and turn down a side street. We take a pic and a girl on her bike asks if we need help. We show her where we’re going. Ah hotel. Yeah we’re fine we have directions. Huh? We’re ok. Thumbs up. Ah ok, good night. She pedals off. Afterwards, I get the feeling she knows more about where we’re going than we do and I should have asked more questions.
The path to the hotel ends up being absolutely absurd. It’s straight up some weathered steps passed little houses on a insanely steep hillside. The steps are super narrow and we’re bogged down with baggage. We go through a dark path in the woods. Then a graveyard? This can’t be right. There’s some grafitti with an arrow. Can’t be the way? Did this tanuki curse us? We come to a dilapidated house. It says to go right through here. Ah nope, that’s sketchy af, go around. Ok we could have actually gone through there I suppose. Another graveyard? Ok where is this damned hotel?! this is ridiculous. These steps are steeeeeeep! Are we in a bamboo forest now? What’s going on?
We come out onto a road. Where are we? It starts raining.
There’s a temple here? We walk up passed it to see what’s around the corner. Oh it’s the hotel!
Looks like a Thai themed place, there is a tuk tuk out front. Tuktuk Tarntawan. The girl at the desk speaks amazing English, “You made it!”. She gets us checked in and is pushing their restaurant pretty hard. Thai? We’ll think about it, thanks.
We get to our room. It’s super tiny but it has an amazing view down on the city and river below
It also has the New Urban Time and Space machine (version -3.0)! Ahh it doesn’t work. Looks like an old Bond movie.
We’ve got to plan out where we’re going to stay for the next few days and it’s raining out so we decide to just take them up on the Thai restaurant idea. Actually it looks pretty sweet.
Muai Thai boxing champ, Sunflower!!
Looks amazing actually! We get some rice, a gyoza soup, spicy papaya salad, guesthouse chicken stir fry. Ahhh it’s not amazing actually. The papaya spicy salad with no fish tastes super fishy. Queenie confirms, there’s a ton of fish sauce. Our server feels so bad. We get a fried pork dish too. This ends up being the best thing.
Well, that was about as mediocre as we expected I guess. But we’re full and it saved some time. We then spend the next couple hours trying to plan the rest of our trip out. Even these little towns Bob recommended are totally booked up?! Israeli Pescatarians!! Man, Japan is crazy for planning. We might have to cut out Takamatsu. I find a hostel in Kurashiki and then a baller hotel for the next 2 days. We can probably go to Naoshima and come back to stay another night there. Fuck it. Get it. Osaka the next night then back home. We’re done planning on this trip ahhhhhh. Himeji to go Sake. Cheers. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz