Last morning in Himeji: I woke up early, gave Kyoko the Belgian biscuits and got ready to leave. Kyoko gave me a nice katana souvernir from Himeji and nearly cried when saying goodbye! She’s so kind. Kyoko, once again, ありがとう！
At 9:10 I took the train to Aioi, where I transferred to a train bound for Okayama. The train station was weird and kind of abandoned (only four people were waiting for the train), there was not even an actual konbini, only a little shop with overpriced candies. My breakfast consisted of biscuits and m&m’s. After one hour and 12 minutes on the train, I arrived in Okayama. I decided to check out the tourist office first, after which I got lost. A very tourist unfriendly city! Except in the touristy area, there were no signs at all. After an hour I finally found the signs to the castle…
Aki no Okayama Momotaro Matsuri, or Autumn Okayama Momotari Festival, is a festival I stumbled upon while on my way to Okayama Castle. At first I just came across huge crowds of people, and I thought “ugh, what are all these people doing here? I just want to see the castle!” But then when I entered the castle gates, I heard music and followed my ears. Good thing I did so!
It was incredible! So incredible that I watched it twice. Honestly, the best thing I’ve ever seen. These people dancing and jumping with the biggest genuine smiles on their faces. There were several dance groups, and the all dances to the same tune (or a edited version of it). It think the dance is called uraja. If you ever get the chance to see an uraja performance, definitely check it out!
I watched for 1,5 hours, then I went to check out the castle.