Our Final day in Taiwan, we had a closing ceremony where each participant was able to get up and tell the group what the trip meant to them. Although I had many favorite things, making tea and getting to know the farmers was high on my list. We were treated to a wonderful vegetarian buffet lunch afterwards. After lunch, we prepared for our trip to Japan. It was suggested that we pack our smaller bag for Japan and leave the other stored in the airport upon arrival. Boy, was that ever a good suggestion!
We had a 6:15 a.m. departure time. Four member of our group weren't coming with us to Japan. As you can see below, I don't think our bus could have fit one more person or one more bag on it.
The train part of our journey was two-part and the third mode of transportation of the day. After about an hour long train ride, we got off at the Shingansen station to switch trains. This time we would be traveling on Japan's high speed train known as the "bullet train." We only had about 15 minutes to figure out how to find our next train. The train station was very crowded as it was the beginning of evening rush hour and many commuters ride the train to and from work. We got on the train in just the nick of time and we were off. The ride is so smooth, you don't really realize how fast you are going.
We arrived on time and our hosts were there to greet us at the train station. We walked from the station to our hotel across the street and down just a bit. As we dropped off our luggage in the lobby, we had been traveling about 12 hours by this time. It occurred to me how grateful I was for the suggestion to leave our large piece of luggage at the airport.
Here are our hosts for the Japan part of our trip.
|Mr. Yamanashi, his daughter who interpreted for us Kazuko Kirita and her husband|
After a lovely introduction, we sat down to a wonderful Japanese meal. We cooked our food on the table. We were treated to a wonderful assortment of vegetables and Kobe beef. Some of us even had some cold Saki!