This blogpost covers the day of April 8th, 2023 while in Kyoto & Maizuru.
Today would have normally been a Kyoto-specific day, though thanks to yesterday’s suggestion (from Nara) I had to visit Maizuru. Why Maizuru? For Kantai Collection, military naval vessels, and other suggested areas. I was almost overwhelmed by the suggestions coming my way.
I basically woke up at 7 AM, left at 8 AM for Maizuru, while also leaving my luggage in the lobby to be retrieved for the room shift. I would later be given my actual hotel room. I grabbed a few snacks from the conbini enroute to Kyoto station. I also noticed a few foreigners with cameras (TV recording gear) near the hotel I was staying at during that time.
Related Blog Posting (Japan Travel):
Google suggested I take the JR Hashidate line, something which it failed to notify me of prior of having to purchase a ticket. I assumed I could have PASMO’d my way towards Maizuru, but no. I would eventually discover everything is my fault thanks to my own ignorance. I needed to acquire a ticket to make use of the Hashidate JR line leading into Maizuru.
Heading to Platform 31, as noted by Google Maps. What Google failed to notify me was what I needed to gain access to the trains.
I struggled to initially find the platform, eventually discovering it. I also asked which train to take to Maizuru, and if the train in front of me was the correct one. They initially noted I could, though I decided against it. I’d wait for the “proper one”. Thanks for the help, and sorry for being a nuisance.
Confused, I went to ask for help in how to get my way into the train. The announcements clearly noted all the seats in the train are reserved, hence my confusion and panic. I went to talk to any train personnel I could, even accidentally irritating a female train staff member. She told me I could eventually sit at (7-2A). Thank you!
I’m thankful Japanese are kind, and I do feel stupid for my error. I wish I knew of this sooner. I asked three different people, the female train staff member helping me out in the end. Do I have a JR Rail Pass? Yes, I do.
And off we go!
Higashi Maizuru Arrival!
Nice! Finally and happily arrived at Higashi-Maizuru, if a little lost. Was suggested to visit ‘Sakai Meat Shop’, though had to take images with KanColle’s Yuri in the area. I also had to examine the area, and even obtain my stamp of Maizuru.
Sakai Meat Shop:
As suggested, and recommended, I visited this area during my stay in Maizuru. Thanks for the conversation we had. I even signed their guestbook, and even ate a croquette from them. We conversed using our translators. One silly moment occurred when I tried asking what a Croquette was. I was drawing a blank while also having a brain fart. I should have kept the conversation going elsewhere, though accepted them on their suggestion of having a croquette. Thank you!
Contains a lovely shrine of Kantai Collection on either side, and within.
Thanks for the snack, the hospitality, and the various gifts. Thank you very much!
Just taking a quick stroll while enroute to my next destination.
I was briefly admiring the gorgeous scenery in the background. The overly hilly terrain; The mountains reminding me of the various Anime I had watched containing this sort of scenery. A few Anime being ‘Arpeggio of Blue Steel’, KanColle Anime, and even ‘Zipang’. Loosely even thought of PIXIV KanColle art relating to ships named after mountains. It was genuinely a beauty soaking in the scenery.
The rain genuinely started to pick up at this point. I took out my umbrella, I rushed across that bridge, and even followed the road to the nearby Red Brick museum. I rushed. The rain was becoming bad.
Red Brick Museum:
While trying to capture every little bit of military for my own collection the rain became so bad I had to hide in the Red Brick Museum for a fair amount of time. I also had to come here per recommendation by Nara’s tourism staff (Nara Station), and even by others. The rain was becoming brutal to the point my umbrella refused to stay open. It kept blowing the other way.
I concluded my stay by checking out every little section I could. I even sought out the stamp display, eventually finding it at the first floor near the exit. I stamped my book, gradually heading out to continue my adventure.
I retook some pictures once the weather smoothed out enough to be safe again.
Maizuru’s Red Brick Park:
A naval military park making note of its historical presence in both a civilian and naval manner. It ties in with World War 2, Kantai Collection, and even as a heritage landmark on its own. You can shop here, eat here, and even briefly tie in with your KanColle self. KanColle is why I traveled here after all. it’s all because of Kantai Collection, even if KanColle developers themselves hate foreigners by region blocking their game to outsiders. Shame.
Now venturing to the other location to see what’s there. As noted, I had time to burn prior to my next boat tour.
A fellow local in Maizuru helping me out by taking a picture of me with the sign. I may have been a bit naive allowing them to take my smartphone from me to take a picture of me, it however went nicely. I casually handed them my phone and they happily took pictures of me with the sign. They must have seen me struggling, or something.
Thanks for the #Maizuru pictures! 🙂
Circled my way around the Brick park a few times, stupidly forgetting to take pictures with Busou Shinki in this area. I forgot about my Busou Shinki figures.
I climbed back down, waited in the nearby area, and even around the boat touring area.
The tour guides eventually asked where we would like to sit, how to sit, and even shocked by how heavy my bag was. They were stunned how much I was carrying.
We settled in, was arranged where to sit. As the tour went on we even noted where my bag would stay. Others would go outside, I followed them. I stupidly allowed my bag to stay resting there for the whole tour.
The tour guides even asked if I was fine with the Japanese language. I said “yes”, I’m fine. I’m only here for the naval ships, though still respect the kindness they showed me. Though, I believe the older tour guide may have been frustrated with me for not having spoken the Japanese language. He tried his best to keep me up to speed. Sorry if I accidentally showed off my cold shoulder, I was tired, and shall be for the next few days as well.
Gave my thanks to the tour guide, yet felt he wasn’t too pleased. Bet he desired I should have spoken and understood Japanese to the fullest. I retraced my steps once again to cross to the other side, this time to head to the anchor, the museum, and even the lookout tower further down the road. It was all within walking distance, or at least in this sort of “cloudy” weather.
A few people joined me up here. It was however time to leave, so I followed the road back down. It was a pain to walk up, and just as bad getting down. Japan knows how to wear me out.
Seeing as how the area was closed for the day, if painfully early, I decided to visit the next area. The one flaw about visiting Japan is how everything seemingly closes at 2-5 PM. TOO EARLY!
Steam locomotive C58 No. 113:
Trains are obviously on my “to-do” list. I must visit each, and every train I find. Well, ones that are similar to those from Kushiro seeing as how I won’t be able to visit Kushiro. Might as well visit ones I have easy access to, such as the one in Maizuru.
Both rain and hail was starting to come down heavily to the point I started to heavily panic. I rushed over to the nearby Ministop, a Conbini. Hail was falling down everywhere.
I asked the guy for two favours.
- To call a taxi to allow me to visit ‘Goro Sky Tower’.
- To have some fried chicken pieces.
The Ministop cashier stayed with me up until a customer needed assistance. Until then, we talked about why I decided to visit Maizuri. It’s because of Kantai Collection, it’s something I also desired to do for 20 years, and because Nara tourism guides nudged me this way. Japan is beautiful, and it’s also because of Anime. Don’t worry, I’m trying to stay as grounded to reality as possible aware of both the positives and negative of Japan. I’m not trying to be some “deranged Otaku”. I’m here to fullfill my bucketlist while also admiring Japan’s beauty in its intended filter.
He may have spoke to me in English, or maybe even in Japanese to which I responded to him back in Japanese via DeepL.
Goro Sky Tower:
I had to visit this place, as suggested by Google Maps this time. I viewed the landmarks, it suggested this place. It suits every other tower in other cities, might as well add this to my visited list. This one was of my own choosing. I had to be taxi’d up here paying roughly $50 Canadian. Forgot how much, though $50 CAD seems about right from Ministop to Goro Sky Tower.
I’m aware Japan has a major bear problem. But bees? You mean wasps, right? Those are brutal. Japanese wasps are nasty.
There was a couple at this playground area, to which I had to take pictures around them.
At this point I was pondering if I should go to Yura, or if I should go back to Kyoto. I didn’t know where Yura’s shrine was, deciding it be best to venture back to Kyoto. I would come back here the next day over. I would sacrifice another Kyoto-day to be a Maizuru-day.
Went back in, requested a taxi, obtained my stamp, and waited outside. I waited a good 20-30 minutes for my taxi before heading to Nishi-Maizuru Station. Maybe I was too early, I could have however visited something quick prior to my stop at Nishi-Maizuru. I had to taxi, and I couldn’t be too picky.
I came far too early. A few hours too early, and that’s a flaw with me. I come too early to areas, especially in Japan. It’s a running theme with me. I accidentally went back into the station to obtain tickets for a train finding out the train I desire is both arriving and departing hours later. I had to wait a few hours, especially becoming colder with each passing 10 minutes.
I loved the tower in front of the station, that’s something I wish I gave more focus to.
The guy at the JR ticket gate helped me out obtain tickets for my trip back to Kyoto. He was overly friendly, and deserves a raise, if he hasn’t obtained one already. He was overly cheerful, friendly, and highly down to earth. If we could talk, we would. He has a job to do, and he would converse with me for hours if he could.
I love Japan. I felt human here.
The guy inside the station (at the gate) chuckled at me for being too early by waiting downstairs at the platform. I eventually gave up, went back out, went to a conbini and bought food.
Going back out the gate to do my Conbini run.
Obtained what I needed and returned to the station. This time I waited in the interior waiting lounge.
[Journal Travel Log: Lady hogged train seat (Deja Vu)]
Not sure what that means now, though shall assume someone stole my seat to which I had to reclaim it. Maybe I was in the wrong, or right. Who knows. It’s of little issue and I have no memory of it. My memory purged it meaning it amounted to nothing.
Spain bar Hablamos:
I reached my hotel to unwind a bit. I dropped what I had done that day only bringing my phone and wifi with me. I decided to visit the nearby Spanish Restaurant for some meals. In hindsight it was the stupidest thing I could have done…… It was something I’ve done out of “laziness”, yet mainly curiousity.
Upon reaching the door I knew I was FULLY out of place. I was 100% out of my zone. Various folks stared at me, yet I still proceeded to try out the menu. I ate right at the door eating my shrimp as politely as I could, and even with shrimp. I assumed it came with noodles. Nope! I then checked out, conversed with the waiter for a while (he chose to talk) talking about British Columbia, Canada, and etc until he politely noted he had to go.
This left me depressed making me (buzzed from beer) storm off back to my hotel in depression wishing I had a partner. I wish I had someone by my side in this sort of outside of my comfort-zone situations. This restaurant wasn’t my thing, though the shrimp was nice. Talking to the male waiter (speaking English) was nice. I however left hastily once I was done, most likely pouting in loneliness in my hotel.
If I simply went to a coin restaurant or ate conbini food then things would have been properly smoothed over for the night. Nope! I had to top of the night on a depressing and lonely note. Shame.
I can’t remember much from the night, most likely thanks to the beer. Watched a bit of TV and went to sleep for my next Maizuru adventure.