Sunday, 29 April 2012

Osaka, Kyoto, Tsuruga and a trip to Nigata on ShinNihonkai's Azalea

Here is the latest installment of my recent trip to Japan. The narrative begins in Kobe, from which I visited Osaka, then took a train to Kyoto for a brief visit before continuing to Tsuruga, where I stayed overnight. The next morning, I boarded ShinNihonkai's MS Azalea for a coastal trip through the Sea of Japan to Nigata.

 The Pacific Venus arrives in Kobe:

En route to Osaka by road:

Seen in Osaka's docks:

Heading for Downtown Osaka:

 Neo-neo-gothic post-modernism:

Luncheon in Osaka:

Osaka local train:

The train to Kyoto:

Once again, there was a splendid view of the line ahead and it was possible to watch the driver at work:

The driver's name, displayed for all to see:

Japanese train drivers all wear white gloves and point at signals better to ensure they've registered the signal's presence and colour aspect:

Kyoto's futuristic station concourse - a railway cathedral:

The rather whizzy Kyoto Tower Hotel:

Kyoto street scenes:

Inter-war former garage with good stained glass depicting motoring scenes:

Boring tourist attraction - seen one, you've seen the lot:

The biggest and best department store I've ever encountered:

A forest of camera tripods in the photographic department:

Model kits of ferries in the model department:

Model kits of buses too:

A brief visit to the Kyoto Tower Hotel:

Back to Kyoto Station:

Crowded train to Tsuruga:

Obama Line:

Tsuruga by night:

Hotel breakfast:

Tsuruga by day (it looked better by night):

The Azalea in port:

Azalea's entrance hall:

The cinema:

The cafeteria:

 Dormitory room:


Long-abandoned jacuzzi on deck:

Passing scenery:

Nice ship - but this is an overstatement:

Scenic Grand Bath:

Observation Lounge with windows plated over:

 Fortunately, we escaped notice:

Buffet luncheon, marketed with the Swedish term 'Smorgasbord':

 My lunch:

Lovely waitress:

Captain's uniform trial again:

Dinner before arrival in Nigata:

More to follow shortly!