When we returned from our nightly picnic, the couple from France talked about their plans for the day after. The girl mentioned they were going to Mt. Shosha (on my recommendation, parts of The Last Samurai -and other movies/series- were filmed here), to which I replied I’d wanted to go there too. Thanks to Kyoko, who switched my morning shift to the evening, we could arrange that I’d tag along. A guest from Germany also went with us.
I woke up too early, so took my time to get ready. Around 9, I went to the main building to meet up with the others. They were still getting ready, so shuppatsu (departure) wasn’t until 10. On our way to the station, we stopped at the supermarket to get breakfast. Our bus just left the station when we arrived, so we had to wait a bit. While waiting, I realized I had left my camera’s battery in the charger, which is why I only have phone pictures of this day… 😦 A good reason to visit again, of course!
After taking the bus and rope way up the mountain, we finally arrived at our destination around 11:45. We started our hike and followed the pilgrim route to the several temples scattered all over the mountain.
We visited all the temples by 1:30, so we went down again and took the bus back to Himeji’s center. The three guests grabbed their luggage at 588 Guesthouse and were off to other great adventures, while I went home for a nap. I overslept a little and woke up 15 minutes before my shift started. Luckily the guesthouse was only 2 minutes away from the annex.
At the guesthouse, I found Megumi, who told me there was nothing to do when there aren’t any guests. Himeji is a small place people usually only stop at for the castle, on the way from or to Hiroshima, so not many tourists spend the night there. My colleague made us okonomiyaki (♥) and we had dinner together. She explained the morning routine while eating and told me to go change the sheets in the annex after dinner.
When I returned again, Megumi helped me practice the check-in routine in Japanese. She translated the usual ‘talk’ and was surprised at my writing ability when I started taking notes in Japanese (mind you, I mainly used the basic kana characters and barely any kanji). I practiced a few times and then our first guest of the day entered. Of course, Megumi made me do the (English) check-in. The guest was a girl from the Netherlands, who moved to Hong Kong because her parents migrated from there. When I was showing her around, she suddenly asked me whether my mother tongue was Dutch. Apparently my Dutch accent does really show when I speak English. So sad! (not really)
After the check-in, Megumi told me she’d checked in two other guests while I was out changing the covers in the annex. Thus, our work for the day was done. We watched TV until 10, then Megumi said “Okay Yooya, it’s time, you can go home now and rest.” So I quickly took a shower and went home.
The next day, it was my turn to do the morning shift. I started at 8, did the start up (lights, music, etc.) and waited. Because that’s all there was, wait until people checked out. Around 9, Kyoko stopped by to give me breakfast. Bread, so peanut butter time! (I found peanut butter in the common fridge the day before… Japanese peanut butter is soooo good!)
By 10, all guests had left. One of the guests, a guy from Hong Kong, told me I was his here and supergirl, because I can speak Japanese and stuff. A little weird, but he was a kind guy. I think I even got a souvenir from him but since I couldn’t do anything with it I just gave it to Kyoko… Time for the clean up: beds, laundry, vacuum, showers, toilets, etc. I can be a proper Japanese housewife now! 😛
When I finished, Kyoko stopped by to gave me money for lunch until the end of my stay (as promised in our WorkAway agreement). I went home to get my camera, this time making sure the battery was inside. 😉
As always, I just wandered the streets of the city. I’d seen in the tourist leaflets that behind the castle, there were some old houses preserved so I walked in that direction. Unfortunately, I never found them. I did find a hint the week after, but by then I didn’t have any time left to go there.
I kept walking straight ahead and eventually found a little stream. Always attracted by water, be it rivers, streams or the sea, I followed it to see where it would lead.
Where the stream lead, you can find out in Friday’s post! 😉