Pond cake for breakfast
Then we checked out Nara park where all the deer congregate
This one was proud of his poo
Further into the park were the deer who were more shy of people
This was my first time parking in one of these parking spots that "captures" your cars with a bit of metal that flips up. These don't exist in Sweden AFAIK. I drove over that control box to the right like 4 times trying to get in and out of the space, orz.
Nara is also the place of the abandoned Nara Dreamland theme park.
I'm still amused by this sign outside there: "Learn to prevent fires! - It's time to have that watch fixed." Watches cause fires?
The abandoned Nara Dreamland park is quite famous as a haikyo, so supposedly it has higher security than most places that are forgotten. They also had scary signs about a 1 million yen fine and prison. Hence we all were apprehensive about entering, and instead just peeled back the rotten boards of the barricade and took photos from there.
I took a wrong turn getting on the highway and we passed this bowling alley. Couldn't determine if it was abandoned or not... No haikyo here. This also triggered an ongoing game as we moved out into the less populated areas - "Haikyo or active?". Some places were so run down we were sure they were abandoned, but they were actually still active.
In Kobe we took a Cable Car towards the peak of Maya mountain.
The cable car has one track, except in the exact middle where the two cars meet
So, what's up there worth seeing? Why, a big hairy bug!
OK maybe that's not the reason we went. Instead, it's this thing, in the forest below...
It's the abandoned Maya Hotel. And we wanted to check it out. The normal access to it was behind a waist-high gate with a no trespassing sign that was right in the cable car station. Reading online how other people had accessed it, they had hiked on dense trails from the bottom of the hill, or by dropping down from above. We were lucky, and the cable car people were doing maintenance, so they weren't paying any attention to us. We were still about to pussy out, when Pollinic just grabbed the fence and made the jump, and with that done we all had the courage to just do it.
Of course *I* would never do anything that and these photos were taken by someone else.
Then was the problem of... getting back into to the cable car station. Without being seen. By jumping back over the fence. Peeking around the corner, there was staff inside the station, and we had to wait. One cable car arrived, boarded and left. We really had to get on the next one as there were only two more departures before it shut down for the day. We peeked again, and... hmm... no staff. Really? No staff? We made the jump. Looked innocent and walked briskly to another area of the station (where you get to the other cable car that goes further up the mountain). As we were walking the staff appeared from their office. Looks like we were safe.
Took the cable car down, and after a day of firsts treated ourselves to all-you-can-eat yakiniku in Kobe. We were all bushed and the meal was eaten in silence.
Buuut... we still had 2-3 hours of driving to today's hotel. In the dark as it was now late. On a full stomach. Fun fun. Drinking Coke zero, blasting J-pop at loud volumes and driving fast on the virtually empty roads we made good time, even though at times I was alone in the car (the others fading in and out of sleep).
Our hotel this night was on Shikoku, in Tokushima. Near the hotel was a rice vending machine. We are now officially in the boonies.
For those who don't know, Shikoku is a large island and one of the main separate islands of Japan. It's quite rural, and the public transportation isn't as well-developed, so it's a perfect thing for road trip where we want to do things that are difficult or tedious with public transport.