Wacky Things in Wakayama City, Japan!

After Kyoto, I was thinking of visiting Hiroshima, but when I went to get a ticket for the train for the next day, it was sold out except for standing room. I didn’t want to do this with my bags, and I wanted to get away from the tourists and see the real country. While in line for the ticket, I had a quick chat with a girl who had been living near Kyoto for the past year. She had mentioned Wakayama was a nice place with a lot to see, so I Googled it for 5 minutes and rerouted.

When I arrived in the city, it was late afternoon, so I checked in to my room and then headed out to see the nearby Wakayama Castle. Wakayama City was quite a change from Kyoto! It was a sleepy little town with very few tourists and very little English on menus, on signs, etc., but so cute and friendly.

The castle was closed for the day, but the grounds, like many places were full of food vendors and families and friends hanging out on the grass having picnics, enjoying the cherry blossoms.

After trying some dumplings and a cheesy treat, I made my way to a nearby jazz bar hoping to find a bit of entertainment. Much to my surprise, a beautiful woman named Emi from the Philippines owned it, and spoke perfect English. Since no other customers had arrived, she opened a bottle of red wine and sat down to chat. She shared her story of singing and putting on shows all over the country, living in Japan for the past 25 years. She is a true inspiration! I couldn’t believe it when we connected on our love of cats and she showed me a picture of her fur baby. He looked almost exactly like my Maxey! We laughed so hard, and she had one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard!

When her 83 year old pianist arrived, she offered to sing a song. Wow, what a voice! So good, and I felt so blessed to be personally entertained!

Emi performing an oldie!

As the evening went on, several other patrons showed up including a sweet woman, Miki and her boss, who joined me at the table. They were so much fun and we had many more laughs…and wine. At the end of the evening, he was so kind to pay our tabs, and Miki and I walked back through town together. It’s amazing how safe it is here!

The next day, I had two things to accomplish two things before leaving town. I wanted to return to the castle to see the inside, and take the cat train to Kishi to meet Tama, the Station Master. So, I got up early and made my way back to the castle. I’m so glad did! The relics inside were cool, but most of all, the view over the bay from the top 360° deck was the winner.

And then it was time for the cat train…yippee! I bought a ticket at Wakayama Station and followed the cats through the halls to the special platform. I boarded a cat train, but not Tamaden, THE cat train.

The scenic ride through the country was gorgeous anyway! When I arrived in Kishi, things got even better, I was welcomed into Tama’s special cat station by Tama himself! There was even a couple taking some wedding photos out front which made it more fun. Cat people are so cool! 😊

After an ice cream in Tama’s Café, I talked with the people in the gift shop to make sure I could catch Tamaden back to Wakayama Station. It worked out purrfectly!

Once I arrived, I walked back to the hotel, stopping at a yummy Japanese curry restaurant. With a full tummy, I went to rest and get ready for my journey further south to a small town on the coast. Coming soon!

Furry Hugs, Michelle

7 Replies to “Wacky Things in Wakayama City, Japan!”

  1. Delightful read! Those cats are sure amazing to see. Never seen a cat train before. Can’t wait for the next episode.
    Beautiful photo of the castle.
    Hugs from all of us in Colorado.

    Liked by 1 person

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