Himeji Castle & Some Real Fatty Steak (Japan pt. 2)

Life is what happens when you’re trying to travel blog! The trip is long in the rear-view mirror but here is part 2.

After a quick breakfast from hell’s supermarket, and lots of vending machine coffee (I am low-key obsessed with Boss Coffee), we went to Himeji to visit the castle and gardens. I was a bit peckish so I picked up a fried Lovecraftian horror during the walk from the train.

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The castle was wonderful. It’s a famous example of traditional Japanese architecture, and while it’s not got a history of super-famous people living there or anything, Kurasawa filmed Ran there. A lot of other movies were filmed there too! And it has a long modern history of being nearly demolished or bombed to dust, so lucky us.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating with photographs until we were just leaving. But here’s a nice pano that might give you the idea.

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After a Brief 12-Hour Flight… (Japan pt. 1)

…I am in Osaka!

When I woke up Friday morning, I had an email from a spec-fic magazine editor about a story I’d submitted. He wasn’t buying it, but he’s willing to work through a series of revisions with me, and see if he likes what I end up with. I’ve taken him up on that. (I know the story needs a little work, but I couldn’t tell you exactly how. It’s very helpful to have a pro articulating where it stumbles.)

So that great news was a great start to my vacation. I sent a reply and then got ready and we were off to the airport.

The flight was rather long. I bought a video game for it, Subnautica, which was recently released for Steam. I hadn’t heard of it before, which is kind of surprising since it’s right up my alley–survival/adventure/exploration, plus the horror of sea monsters. But then, I often don’t hear about a game when it isn’t on a platform I have yet. Too much to keep up with otherwise. I ended up playing it for six hours on the flight.

Customs was ruthlessly efficient, and after some weirdness trying to figure out the train tickets, we were off to Osaka proper. Continue reading