This morning started similarly to yesterday – early meditation followed by vegetarian temple breakfast – there was no formal tour of the Treasure(s) this time, but we were allowed to wander around them self-guided so-to-speak.  This time there was a family of four in attendance, the other guests presumably having checked out the previous day.

It was, as before, cold – enough that I needed to break out the cold weather gear again.  This time, however, I’d be wearing it all day.  Packing everything up, I went downstairs and left my baggage in the office and headed out to take some photos.

I had been saving Oku-no-in for this morning to get some actual daytime shots, and wandered about for most of the morning.

And just in case you thought you’d turned in your last project at work when you ‘retired’, the company you work for offers you a spot in their corporate grave where you can continue to put your hours in.

I paid my respects at the Kūkai mausoleum, took note of the tour groups starting to show up, and decided to get some lunch.

Some Soba Tempura and I was off to get my luggage and head for Okayama.  It ended up being a little over three hours, end-to-end, but there wasn’t a lot of waiting around thankfully.  On the way, I passed through Osaka where I’ll be visiting later, and got a feel for the city and its transit system.

Arriving in Okayama, I was glad that I had booked a hotel near the station – I was tired and had had enough walking, particularly with baggage in toe.  My room actually overlooks the station as the trains come and go, including the Shinkansen line that runs from Osaka to Hakata I arrived on.  I’m still not sure if the windows are supposed to open or if it’s just for emergencies – I tried, but it felt like the whole window might pop out so I gave up fearing a costly disaster.  No photos, I guess.

Heading out for dinner, I did my best to find the “entertainment district”, typically where the majority of good restaurants are going to be.  I’m not sure I found it – Okayama seems to shut down pretty early on a weekday, and just about everything was closed with no apparent concentration of restaurants or bars.

I ended up heading back towards the station, and stumbled upon an Izakaya/Yakitori style restaurant – small, cozy, and built for the locals.  I just wish it hadn’t taken an hour to find, but the food was great and they threw in some extra sake as “service” (free).

On the way back to the hotel:

Time to change the lights...

Bicycle Lock-up - $1/24 hours (I think)