From Himeji’s white castle to Okayama’s black castle in one day! 😉
In stark contrast to the white “Egret Castle” of neighboring Himeji, Okayama Castle has a black exterior, earning it the nickname Crow Castle (烏城 U-jō).
Wikipedia: Okayama Castle
Okayama’s castle looked a little small so I opted to skip the visit and, after taking a few photos, went to the garden, which supposedly is one of the top three gardens in Japan. Once again, I was disappointed. I hereby strongly recommend Suizenji Garden in Kumamoto (again). As I recall, the unique thing about this garden is that it has a lot of grass area. That may have been the reason for my own disappointment.
I walked back towards the station area to find a shop selling SD-cards, because I had been deleting so many photos and I would never be able to get all pictures of the next few days on the cards I had with me. Turns out all the dancers I just saw moved to the shoutengai to perform their show again! After finding and SD-card, I watched the whole thing again. Still amazing! So much energy, too.
Since I didn’t know what else to do in Okayama City, I tried to find my way to Hayashima, where my guesthouse for that night was located. It took a while to find the right train, but I couldn’t have caught an earlier one anyway. I had to wait for quite a long time, because few train stopped at Hayashima. Around 5 PM, I arrived at the guesthouse, and the girl was happy to show me around in Japanese (because I can ;)). I rested for a bit and then decided to go for the recommended okonomiyaki (again!) with my roommate Julia from Russia.
While waiting for Julia, I met two Autralians in the common space, whom I joined again after the delicious okonomiyaki. Later two Japanese guys also joined, one of them a police officer from Fukuoka (Fukuoka = my home away from home). After they left, two Brits joined. Everyone was really nice, and we had lots of fun. How I love meeting people from all over the world!
Everyone decided to retire around 8 PM, so I showered and wrote my notes. When I got out the shower, the Australian woman, Dorothy, was in the common space of the bathroom and as we were talking she gave me their email address so that if I ever go to Australia I should contact them (“because I’m a really nice girl”).