Day 18 - Mon 19 Apr 2004
A day of contrasts - up early to see the castle - very nice gardens, it even has a real moat with some of the
biggest carp you've ever seen. The castle is made out of wood, unlike all the other concrete replica's I've seen elsewhere
in Japan. I got to the top just before a tour group arrived.
After the castle I booked my seats on the train to Narita, and then caught the express train to Hotaka, which might be okay on
a sunny day, but it had started to rain and the wind was driving it sideways. My umbrella got blown inside out. After about a half an hour
I decided to catch the train to anywhere! In the end a Matsumoto one came in first!
The lady in the tourist board said that the buses to the Utsukushi plateau hadn't started running this year - so I went
upstairs to the cafe, and spent 400 yen on a cup of english tea, and play on the Internet. Then I thought about the
trans-alpine route. Back down stairs to the tourist lady - Yes it is running, but is very expensive.
Crossed the road, and popped into JTB - for 7750 yen they can book me on the trans-alpine route for tomorrow. I visited
the Matsumoto museum, which is included in the price of the castle.