Second day in Osaka and I would be heading to Kawage, Tsu, Mie prefecture where I would put up for a night before Suzuka 8Hours. I checked out from Fine Garden at 11.00 am and make my way toward Osaka Namba station.
In Suzuka, I planned to stay at Suzuka Circuit Hotel which is located within the perimeter of the circuit. It would have been very convenient for me. However, I was a little too late as the hotel was fully booked. I could understand that as during that period, there were nearly 70 teams with 3 riders each, their crews and their families. It was only natural that Suzuka Circuit Hotel had a hundred percent rate occupancy. So next year, I probably need to book much earlier.
To make matters worst, all hotels around the circuit were fully occupied too. I was left with no choice but to get my accommodation using airbnb.com. I found one at Kawage, Tsu, Mie Prefecture which is said to be within 10 km from the circuit. So I thought.
In Part 4, I mentioned that I bought the Kintetsu Wide Rail pass that included three vouchers for Kintetsu Limited Express and unlimited rides on any Kintetsu train for 5 days and it cost me only JPY 3,800 ! If you ever planned to go to Suzuka Circuit, this is a pass that you must buy. A normal one way ticket from Osaka to Tsu station will cost JPY 3,300! You do the maths.
My plan was to have a quick lunch at Osaka Namba station before I headed to Tsu. After a simple and nice lunch that cost me only JPY 850, I went to Kintetsu ticket counter to exchange my package voucher with a Kintetsu Limited Express ticket.
A normal train has no reserved seats and it practically stops at every station whereas a limited express train stops only at selected stations. The seats are reserved. It takes a little more than an hour from Osaka to Tsu station. As usual, the train leaves right ontime.
I really enjoyed myself on the train. This is one of the best ways to see Japan from a local point of view. The train passed through some nice and quiet countrysides and many tunnels too. I actually lost count on the number of tunnels the train went through.
I disembarked at Tsu station and made an interchange This time to a local line. From Tsu, it was only 5 stations away to my next stop, the Chisato station. Chisato is a very small station, so small that the entrance is just a little hut sized building without any supervision.
I walked for about 20 minutes, dragging my rather heavy luggage along under a very hot 3.00 pm sun. I finally came into a housing area. My Japanese friend called this area ‘Kampung’ which means village in the Malay language. However, to me it doesn’t look like a kampung. In Malaysia, this Kawage looks more like a housing estate.
I was greeted by the house owner, Ms. Megumi and was shown to my room. My room was a tatami room and thanked goodness it came with air conditioner or else I would be toast.
To be honest, I did not really like my room. How I wished it was something similar to Suzuka Circuit Hotel or at least have some similarities like those in Fine Garden Sakai. My room had no door lock and there were 11 people staying under one small roof. Sorry fellas, it was the peak season. I had to even book a time slot to take my bath.
I took some rest and at sunset, I took a 5 minute walk to Sanshi, a super market nearby and bought myself a cheap dinner there. I couldn’t be bothered searching for a restaurant as all I needed was some rest and to prepare myself for the big day ahead. I called it a day after my simple dinner.