nostromos bLog

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08(01), 07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)

Fri, 16 Aug 2013
nostromo in hello kitty land again, day 13 (0 comments)
today morning wakayama was still a ghost town, but fortunately we did not stay there for long, as we got to the railway station and got on the kishigawa line, the sole line of the wakayama electric railway company. the route is around 15 kilometres long, and goes from wakayama to kishi station. but already to get to the platform for this train at wakayama station it becomes clear why this train is beloved by the people - cat paw prints on the ground[88] guide the passengers to the train that goes to two stations were cats are station masters, namely kishi and idakiso. so we got on a train to go straight to the final stop, the kishi station were super-station master tama[01,03-09,11-20] was on duty[45] today, from 10:00 to 16:00 o'clock. usually there are three train cars, with special themes. one is the "ichigo" (strawberry) train, in which strawberries are sold (if it's strawberry season), one is "omocha" (toys) train where the train is full of toys, and tama train, full of tama stuff and pictures of tama on it. and this was the train we totally wanted to ride, but unfortunately only the strawberry train[82] was in service, but no strawberries were sold either. the other trains were parked in the carriage shed[41]. too bad, too sad. but at least tama was on duty (she is off-duty on weekends, and it was friday today, so lucky us). so we got off at the kishi station to admire the super station master at hard work[13-14,17,19-20,33-39]. her office in a former ticket-booth, where she slept all the time, sometimes moving a leg and once even getting up shortly to change her sleeping position.
and while she consistently continued doing her job, we had a little break in the tama cafe[10,23-28], admired tama's super station master dress[21-22], including the super station master hat and a robe, in a display case. also there's a museum[04,12,40] included in the cafe, showing more tama stuff and offering the same tama merchandise items as the tama shop that was also right next door in the station hall. the station hall[10] was rebuilt in 2010 and now resembles a cat's face - meow. and there's tama everywhere. even the chairs[23] look like a cat, and the cups[24-28] and cakes[24-26] at the cafe have tama printed on it. we liked that a lot.
so time to put a stamp into the tama book[43] that nina bought me as a present, and hop on the train to get to the idakiso station, where another station master was on duty, namely nitama. nitama[44,46,50-81] was more active than tama, and so we got a good impression of her hard daily working schedule. also nitama's hat and ribbon[43] were in a glass display case. actually the wakayama line was saved by the calico cat, as they had severe financial problems and were close to being shut down, when tama, an adopted street cat from kishi was appointed station master by the company. soon the station master became very popular, and people came to see tama. so the train line was able to continue services for local residents. due to this huge success tama was promoted to super station master. purrfectly awesome story - meow.
but then it was time to bid farewell to the two station mistresses. so we got back to wakayama station[89] and got a JR train to shin-osaka to change to a train to tokyo, as we had discussed the day(s) before what to do next. nina wanted to go to the beach, but beaches are either far in the south of japan, or more like a family experience park, full of people and with a quite limited "beach feeling" - at least according to pictures and reviews on the internet. also our JR passes were valid for 14 days, so only one day left for free rides, and, again it was weekend to come, so all of japan is traveling. with all this in mind and nina wanting to go on loads of shopping sprees, we decided to go to tokyo right away. but as we booked our train, unfortunately there was only a seat in a smoker compartment available, so we had to sit in a smoky train for almost three hours or wait for another hour, which we did not want. nina got headache after a while, i didn't enjoy it much either - cough, cough. but we took a little joy in eating our bento boxes, which were really delicious and quite cheap, and available at every bigger railway station, like the one in shin-osaka. a really wonderful surprise awaited us at the ryokan in tokyo. first of all it was right in the love hotel district, where hotels had "hidden" entrances and two price categories called "rest" and "stay", which means either you stay for a couple of hours, or you spend the night there. also when searching for the hotel, we spotted a little cat there. and then there was the super friendly staff, really, really nice (not the usual japanese nice-level, but way beyond), and our japanese room[91-97] was awesome. also the atmosphere at "the edo sakura" is so quiet and peaceful. you enter and feel home instantly. a total recommendation from our side.

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