On my first actual day in Himeji, Kyoko awaited me at 9 AM to explain the basics of the guesthouse. About the cleaning, the washing and the preparing before guests arrive. Lastly, she told me about the check-in procedure, because she wouldn’t be there when that day’s guests would arrive.
She went out around 10:30, after finishing the preparations. I didn’t have any plans yet. I had two full weeks to explore Himeji, so there was no hurry to visit the castle or other touristy places. So, I studied the huge amount of folders and booklets on Himeji, available at 588 Guesthouse. Not just for myself, but also because Kyoko asked me to, so I could respond properly whenever guests had questions on what to do or where to go. While studying all the information, I ate pretty much all the yummy doughnuts Kyoko gave me before leaving. That doughnut with shrimps though… >0<
Around 1 PM I finally went out, for a walk in no particular direction. I came across a big red shrine and some ruins of the well-preserved outer castle walls.
My host later explained to me how all buildings within these outer castle wall all have the same address (number 68) and that the postman doing this part of the city must be an incredibly talented person. How is that possible, you say? Well, before the government could claim this land after a big fire, the people of Himeji had already settled on the land. The government was too late, so shikataganai and ihou! (what I literally wrote in my notes… meaning that they couldn’t do anything about it but that it was rather illegal).
I only walked around a part of the outer walls, then deciding to walk around the castle itself by following the inner moat. The moat is filled with hundreds of koi (carp) and quite a number of turtles. A picture might say a thousand words, but I can tell you my pictures don’t do the beauty of this place much justice!
I returned to the guesthouse about 2,5 hours later, well in time to await the guests. One arrived without a reservation, but since Kyoko only told me about the guest who had booked beforehand, so I asked to come back later. A little while after, guests arrived. I did their check-in and showed them around perfectly (except for being overly polite, that’s chotto muri… impossible). Afterwards, another guest without reservation showed up, so I LINE’d Kyoko to inquire about it. Luckily she immediately called me and told me to toriaezu (for the time being) give him a bed in the dormitory room. She arrived not much later and explained the rest to him.
Around 5 PM, Kyoko told me to get the pillow and futon covers from the annex, where the unexpected guests stayed the day before. We had a little misunderstanding, since Kyoko had already done this, so I did an unnecessary task and had to put the covers back on again because Kyoko meant the covers on top of the covers…
Around 7:30, Kyoko and I had dinner (made by her). We started talking about the supermoon with the guests, and decided to go for another tsukimi in front of the castle. We had a picnic with all the guests in front of the castle, despite the supermoon being long gone. The sky was mostly covered with clouds, so even the normal moon was barely visible.
We had a great conversation and laughed a lot, so it was a really nice evening.