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Day Four: Let the Tourism Begin!

Wow, long day today with two big tourist stops: a walk down to the train (discovering that convenience stores are now universal) to get to a cab that would take us to a funicular (train/tram kinda thing) to the top of Rokko Mountain where there is a spectacular view of the whole Kobe/Osaka Bay Basin area, including Rokko Island where Holly works. Here's one of the photos:

It was an exceptionally good day to go up there because yesterday's typhoon remnant cleared out a lot of the stagnant, hazy air.

Then we took a bus around the top of the mountain, discovering at one stop a miniature golf course! but not like we have here with windmills and elephants on astroturf on concrete! This was on real grass with real greens (not very well mowed mind you) and played with real balls and putters only. Holes were about 10 to 20m long...

After that we took a bus to a train to another train about 30 miles west to the city of Himeji, site of the most original and largest, best castle in Japan.

Didn't really have to ALL that much time to explore the castle but DID make it to the top floor (good vistas from there) and began the treacherous climb down in my socks (no shoes allowed in the castle). Why treacherous? some of the "stairs" were more like ladders with handrails!
When we were done with all the castle we made our way back to the train station to take another train to another train to Rokko Island to meet Holly (Horry) and Jerry (Jelly) for dinner. Last minute change of plans was to dine at Chez Costo in Osaka as were low on supplies in the villa!
Costo in Japan is pretty much like Costco in the US except in the produce section there's squid, and a watermelon is $15. But Pizza is pretty much universal so we had that at the costco food court before shopping.

One last thing, yesterday I promised a photo of a statue that looks like Wimpy playing sax naked. Well it turns out I was a bit "overpromised" on the 'Wimpy' part, but everything else was right:

Here's a slideshow with all the photos I took today…