We explored the Nishiki market, then had lunch in the department store basement (where there are many counters each selling a different type of food). In the afternoon, Nuri visited Nijo-jo Castle, and Janet went on a quest to buy some better shoes…not an easy task as all the Japanese women’s shoes were too small! For the evening, we had arranged a Nagomi visit — dinner with a local family in their home. Eiko prepared a delicious meal of sashimi for us, and we enjoyed sharing conversation about Japan and the US.
We spent the morning visiting Fushimi Inari-taisha, a very popular Shinto shrine. Then we were headed to Hakone, a small mountain town near Mt. Fuji. To get there, we took the shinkansen (a super-fast train, 300 km/hr!), followed by a local train, then yet another train that took us up the mountain through a series of switchbacks! We enjoyed a relaxing evening at our guesthouse, chatting with fellow travelers from Germany and Australia.