Today (well, yesterday, since this post won't go live until the day after I write it) was spent in Inuyama, an old castle town about 40 minutes north of Nagoya.
I had breakfast at Lotteria in Inuyama Station (good fast food, though the portions are small for the price) before venturing out into the light rain that would plague my entire morning. Inuyama Castle is about a fifteen minute walk from the station, and since my shoes are about ready to fall apart, my socks were wet by the time I reached the surrounding shrines. Like Nagoya Castle, this one has several flights of stairs to the top observatory level. The stairs here are super-steep though, and since this is a less-popular castle the exhibits are a little more sparse and less-thrilling. This castle is a national treasure that was built in the 1500s. It's one of the few original wooden castle structures left after all the progress and wars Japan has seen. It has a nice view of the river too!
After taking in the castle and its two shrines, I squished back to the station just in time to catch the bus out to Meiji Mura, which is a very large outdoor museum with a collection of over 60 historical buildings. Most of them are from all over Japan, but a few are from elsewhere in the world (Hawaii and Brazil for example). Nearly every building is open for viewing and they all have period furniture or exhibits inside. There is a good English explanation about each building on a signboard at the entrance, though there is nearly no English on the exhibits. I spent the whole afternoon there - about four hours of walking up and down stairs, up and down hills, and dealing with sporadic rain. Eventually the sun came out for good, and I started drying out. (I didn't take many pictures with my iPhone here for some reason. So all you get is a little train station and a stained glass window.)
I was exhausted from all the walking but despite the slowly falling sun, my day was not over. I made it back to Nagoya and hunted out two baseball card stores near the station. I took some notes and made a couple minor purchases before grabbing dinner at CoCoICHI, my favorite curry place.
And finally, I hopped on a train back to Kanayama, to spend tonight at the same capsule hotel. Too bad I got on a train going the wrong direction and my 3-minute trip took almost an hour. Did you know that trains leave some tracks in Nagoya Station once every two minutes, for different routes?
Anyway, I'm writing this after taking a nice hot shower and spending several minutes soaking in the jacuzzi. They gave me the same capsule I had last night (WTF?) and it's nearly 11pm. I need to get to bed because I'm going to a theme park tomorrow!