Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 3 Nov 2017 23:57
We began at ten o’clock this morning by leaving our ‘broom cupboard room’ in Osaka (loved the area), joining the throng at Tanimachiyonchome number four - our local station for the few stops to Higashi-Umeda and then bimbled over to the big station (Osaka). Retracing our way from last night - with some confidence – I might add. We try to travel off-peak wherever possible, so it was a bit of a surprise to find this view at twenty to eleven. Having given ourselves plenty of time, we managed to pick our way to the very far end without incident.
We boarded the Express train heading for Tokyo going over the bridge we had seen from the Umeda Sky Building and got off at Shin Osaka.
Up in two lifts that got us diagonally to platform twenty to wait for our fourth bullet – the Sakura 555 train to Shin-Tosu.
The cleaning crew in position as he came in (just decided that bullet trains have to be ‘he’).
What a dirty nose.
Sexy as anything from this angle parked next to his friend.
Cute cleaning sign as our chap gives the toilet a good going over. Bear sits and waits patiently.
Our chap gives the thumbs up as his mate borrows the hoover.
Soon out of the city. Soooooooooooooooooo pleased this wasn’t our first bullet train ride (which was superb and will go down in the Millard Annuls). When Bear got our tickets he didn’t realise we would be each side of the gangway. Not a big issue but the ladies each side of us were single travellers. Bear’s got on, ate her lunch and went soundo. Mine, very elderly, was deposited by her husband who scarpered. She took her boots off and put them on a sheet of newspaper, spent the first twenty minutes looking at her watch every three and checked every ruff on her shirt and boy, there were many. Feet on bag, off bag, that coupled with the two children in front of me playing a noisy computer game and what with the stuffy heat............I succumbed after an hour, to sleep to block it out. This three and a half hour journey over, we had to find our platform at Shin-Tosu to Urakami.
Our ten minute wait was joyfully filled as Mrs Midori came in. Midori is a melon based drink we have at Christmas with Baileys, Bear named it Mrs Midori and it has been ever since. Such happy-coloured doors.
A double whammy as Mrs Midori’s back half was Huis Ten Bosch. A happy-coloured engine. Side note: Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki, which recreates the Netherlands by displaying life-sized copies of old Dutch buildings. The name Huis Ten Bosch translates into English as "House in the Woods/bush”.
Our snooty-looking Kamome 27 came in on the dot. The interior more like an aeroplane with the overhead bins and side lighting.
Side-by-side, we enjoyed the farmland scenery – first time we have seen burn off.
We passed a huge outdoor event.
Farm houses one classic, one more modern.
A very flat plain.
Plenty of water as we went over many canals.
Just over the houses we could see the sea.
Flat calm but very grey. Not sure about all the little sticks, possible mussel beds ???
This harbour could be just about anywhere.
We make a quick stop and next to us is a very happy looking chap. Bear keeps an eye on where we are, next stop. At ten to five we emerge on a main street in Nagasaki.
Oh, we had to stop at these buildings. Happy Science, oh, and a tram coming.
For three pounds thirty five we can buy a whole day womble ticket on the trams, they run every five minutes on three different lines. That’s a must for tomorrow, we can get the tickets at our hotel. Ok, sounds like a plan. Then we will do the Peace Museum the day after.
The fifteen minute walk to our hotel ended with a steep bit, I needed excuses to stop for a breather, a cunningly placed flower bed and quite the prettiest drain cover proved perfect, at five minute intervals.
After our last room we could easily get agoraphobic in this one, Beds settles easily on the ‘normal’ pillows, luxury after the last huge bricks. We both have bedside cupboards, well I do and Bear gets a chair and table. The view out of our window, a well recommended Chinese restaurant.
A stunning sunset.
What about the toilet, I hear you cry ???? Yes, but NO HEATED SEAT. Oo Oh.
Left and left again to the Chinese restaurant. Crowded with locals – always a good sign. English menu, delicious food and a handsome creature to guard the door.
A lovely piece just inside the door.
Above the door. En route back to our room we stop off at the mini-mart under our building, more filled with tourist stuff than ready meals, but we found yoghurt and breakfast bars for the morrow. Breakfast not included in the room price, we felt eight pounds each for three mornings we would go it alone. Back to luxuriate on normal pillows but a cold seat.......... oops, but it doesn’t tell you whether they are hot or cold in the details, well they ought to.
Today we did 466 miles (750 kms) to north west of the island of Kyushu
ALL IN ALL I ENJOYED THE VIEWS FROM THE EXPRESS
HIGHLY EFFICIENT BUT SOMEWHAT CROWDED