We Paid Big Price to Be in Kinosaki, Japan, or Not - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

It was the perfect season to visit Kinosaki, a charmingly old-fashioned onsen (Japanese for hot springs) town located in northern Hyogo Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan.  It started its development in the 8th century when hot springs were discovered there.  

The weather was cool and what a great idea to stroll by the willow-lined river
in yukata and geta (wooden clogs), after a dip in one (or all) of the seven public hot springs.  And the thought of sleeping in a ryokan (Japanese inn), furnished with tatami, after a meal of the region's famous crab and Tajima beef was enough to keep me awake at night.

Well, no classic story is without a twist.  Due to some misaligned priorities, we failed to exchange Japanese Yen before boarding the long train journey to Kinosaki, on the last effective day of the train pass.  By the time we arrived in the reserved ryokan, it had passed 5:00 pm, on a Friday.  The bank was closed and it was going to remain that way until Monday.  All creative solutions we came up were turned down.  Using a credit card for payment?  No.  Exchanging US Dollars with the hotel?  No.  Exchanging US Dollars with the hotel staff?  No.  I guess, it is an "old-fashioned" town.

Now comes the survival mode.  We scraped up all the Japanese yen we had on us, insisted on paying the ryokan for the night's stay, and walked off to a near-by convenience store for our dinner, a delicious bowl of instant ramen.

The next morning, we were greeted with the timely drizzle that gave this town the mood that meets my eyes. :-)  

On this day, we'd leave Kinosaki on a train, heading in the direction of Kyoto.  But there's a problem.  Can you tell?  

The hint is in the third paragraph.
 The first to answer correctly will be rewarded.



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