Osaka to Kashihara – Friday 3 May

Breakfast! egg! bread! banana! One! One! One! …

We were quickly aware we were on the wrong side of town as we headed east and over one of the many bridges. A small river/canal leading towards the skyscrapers and a flotilla of flat tourist barges docked as we crossed a small bridge.

It’s only 9am and the place is awake – a big clean up occurs from the night before – a force of people armed with tongs and plastic bags collecting rubbish left in roadside hedges and flower gardens. A pontoon stage on the side of a canal is being dismantled. As we approach Namba station the travellers are filling the paths with wheelie suitcases. Young girls dressed in lace ankle length skirts and heels. The crossroads are adorned with large billboards – I can only imagine the look upon evening when they are lit up.

We saunter on through the streets as the high rise apartments dissipate and we are in local suburbia. We see the hills ahead and are guided to a levee – the river on our right – housing on our left and hills ahead.

I like the way the river beds are utilized tennis courts and baseball, further on an array of picnic blankets, folks setting up for the day; recreational fishing along the river seems popular. Large carp kites are strung from a bridge. A flow of recreational cyclists and roadies join us.

Another sunny day, quite warm and slightly humid. It’s nice to get into the countryside – we spot grapevines undercover.

We travel alongside a river and railway to our accommodation. Checkin time is 5pm …. we arrive early and unload and explore … there is a lot of history around here … John has already seen 2 temples today (just for photos) … his limit!! We are near the historic town of Asuka Village and cycle towards it – a great cycle infastructure is in place but in Japanese – our interest has waned and choose not pursue going to the sites of the ancient ruins.

Our accommodation is ‘interesting’ lovely location in a semi rural area. Classified as a guesthouse – not sure whether it is eccentric or eclectic or he’s a hoarder. Maybe a photo is the only explanation.

Positives a nice common area so we are happy to overlook the hills with an evening beverage. The landlord was very direct with his breakfast menu as we arrived. All in the experience of travelling.

Good thing … Golden Week is almost finished and we can be more choosy where we stay.

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