Tokyo is close enough to five hours away by Bullet train and today’s schedule had us travelling more or less for the whole day. Were we travelling by ourselves that’s exactly what we would have done, wasting the better part of half a day in the process. But Robert who wrote the schedule after all, is nothing if not keen for us not to miss an opportunity to discover a corner of Japan while it’s only a train or two and a bit of stored luggage away and all we had to do was finish breakfast early and follow.
The town of Kurashiki was our surprise destination, and if finding a museum closed in our honour yesterday didn’t make us feel at home enough, a town built around a canal network did the trick very nicely today, topped off by a museum filled to the eyebrows with a wondrous collection of paintings from the European masters.
As something of a contrast the folk craft museum in an old granary was equally captivating, although it says something of the calibre of our group that many, including one of us were transfixed by nothing more complex than a simple wall with timber cladding fixed with hand forged nails, many of us feeling a compulsion to run hands over it and stare at it for long minutes on end, eyes glazed and sighing at the wonder of it.
It was so hypnotising, so beautiful that one dares not post a photo lest others too should fall under its spell.