a long day on the go

Japan, 2018.07.21

We spent the night in an interesting little hotel that's next to one of the main Japan Rail station in Matsuyama. It was an inexpensive, no-frills cost-saving effort after our more expensive stay at a fancy ryokan in the hot-springs part of town the night before. What caught Mari's attention was the meticulous devotion the staff had to "continuous improvement". They offered a survey, as many hotels due, but along with the survey they offered a list of things that the hotel had actually done in response to their guests' survey responses. That included:

+ starting a bike rental service

+ adding a coin-op laundry room to the hotel

+ adding a basket of small activity books and toys for kids

+ adding a rack in the tiny lobby where you could buy emergency things like phone chargers, toothbrushes, etc

It was a delight.

We set off early in the morning, heading to the neighboring train station to catch a bus that took us to the docks. We boarded the same express ferry we'd taken to get to Matsuyama, and were soon back in Hiroshima where we boarded a street car to get us to the shinkansen express train. That took us back to Fukuoka, where it was by that time 37°C, where we switched to a second shinkansen (the two trains barely stopped) for Kumamoto on Kyushu's west coast. It's a part of the country I'd like to see, some day. There, we took another bus all the way to Miyazaki on Kyushu's east coast, and finally a "one man" train (so-called because it's staffed with only a single person) back to Nichinan. Whew!

Emma on the final train

Emma on the day's final train

We got to Mari's parents' place between burst of torrential rain as yet another typhoon is in the region.

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