Off the Tourist Track

Today we spend most of the day driving from the middle of Shikoku Island to the city of Matsuyama on the west coast. We get off the tourist track by following less traveled routes. The roads are winding and sometimes very narrow, really only a one lane road. If we meet another vehicle, both must squeeze to the side to pass. Makes for a bit of hair raising if there is a drop down down down to a creek bed below us.

Shikoku Island, Japan

We should be doing a bridge count and a tunnel count as we go over and through many. There must have been a time of massive infrastructure construction in this area to build so many structures. The Japanese like concrete. When a road is widened, they pour concrete to fill in the gap through the canyon. No cutting and filling like they do in Canada, just pour that huge concrete block and get ‘er done. Fascinating!

Shikoku Island, Japan

It’s lunch time and we are hungry. We spy a small restaurant and pull over. It is called something like Restaurant 439, which is the highway number we are on. Small place run by two older ladies, one in the kitchen and one serving. With our rudimentary Japanese, a lot of pantomime, the server lady’s rudimentary English and help from a young woman patron, we manage to order chicken and rice. Oh, and we make sure we add in a lot of laughing and smiling when ordering. The food satisfies the hunger pangs and we are on our way again.

Shikoku Island, Japan

When we travel, we attempt to use as many modes of transport as we can. So far on this trip we have traveled by airplane, boat, car, subway train, legs, bullet train, cable car, bus and now today we add chair lift. The Matsuyama Castle sits high on a hill and is accessed by walking (done that), a cable car (done that) or a chair lift. We opt for the chair lift. Not the safest chair lift in the world, but rather fun.

Matsuyama Castle Chair Lift

The castle is huge and has these massive stone walls as protection. We were late so we could only walk around the castle. Impressive and intimating, which I am sure, was the idea.

Matsuyama Castle

Tomorrow we add another mode of transport. The car ferry, as we make our way to Hiroshima.

Don’t mean to take away from the tour of Japan, but this topic has intrigued us all. Installment three in the Japanese toilet series. Messing around with the console control panel I figured out how to raise and lower the seat electronically. Then on another toilet I found the fan was activated once one sat on the seat. These folks have taking potty time to a whole new level.

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