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Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 1

Every time I visit Japan for work, one of the many highlights I look forward during my stay is to get to travel with my Japanese language teacher – I fondly call her sensei. We have traveled together to so many different tourist destinations around Kyoto and Okayama. Having her as a travel buddy is really great – it is with her that I feel I could just say anything without fear that I might say something wrong and more importantly it is only with her that I feel that I make sense with the little Japanese that I know. I guess it is safe to say that when I am with her I feel at home – I talk more and smile more.

50 Vories Brochure

During one of our classes she showed me a brochure about a place called Omihachiman, and a man named William Merrell Vories who have called this place his home and asked if I have ever heard of this place and if I wanted to see it – without having second thoughts I said Yes. Getting there…

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Tetsudo-no-hi Kinen JR NishiNihon Ichinichi Norihodai Kippu

One of the great advantages about traveling with sensei is planning how to get there the cheapest possible way like buses to Kyoto or taking the cheapest bullet train (kodama shinkansen) from Okayama. This time around she introduced me to the Tetsudo-no-hi Kinen JR NishiNihon Ichinichi Norihodai Kippu which is basically a ticket sold to commemorate the Railway Day celebrated every 14th of October. It is a ride all you can ticket good for one day that cost only 3080 yen each for adults. It is very similar to the Seishun 18 kippu most tourist are familiar with the main difference is that this ticket can only be used within the JR West lines – so if you plan to use this ticket on your trip make sure to limit them with in the JR West lines. For more information about this ticket please check this site. The travel… I took the 6:04 train from Omoto station then change trains at Okayama station to join my sensei on the train she and her husband had boarded. Since it was so early and it was a long train ride, I fell as sleep throughout the first hour of our travel. But after our first train transfer, I finally took the time to enjoy the scenery – this is one of the benefits of traveling by train you get the chance to see the country side. Seeing the view change from farms to houses and eventually to tall buildings when we where nearing the cities of Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto – it was like seeing the evolution of Japan. Apart from seeing scenes outside, each train stop also seem to reflect how each town’s lifestyle was like – like when I first boarded the train in Okayama station mostly of its passengers where elderly and on each train stop where people get off or board the train slowly the age, the fashion, and generally the type of people who were with me changed. From being with old retirees to seeing young men and women in their typical black and white suits ready for work. It clearly showed how people match the environment where they live in. There was also one stop where I witnessed for the first time how trains merge carts – sorry for sounding like a child but having to grow up in a country where there are no trains this is just one of the many things that amaze me when ever I travel here. I also got the chance to see the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge when we passed by Kobe. It was pass 10 in the morning when we finally arrived at JR Omi-Hachiman Station the main station at Omihachiman.

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At one of our stops

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bridge at kobe

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Omihachiman Station

On my next post, I will tell you about Omihachiman.

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