When we were finished with the gardens, we decided that our best option was to visit the Toy Museum, and Matt consulted his maps. There should have been an easy bus to get there, but at the bus stop, we had some trouble figuring out which bus came and when. We decided to take a taxi.
The taxi driver was very confused about where we wanted to go. We handed him the pamphlet from the tourist office, but he consulted his own maps at every stop light. When we found it, tucked away in a residential neighborhood, it almost seemed to sneak up on us.
It was a cute sprawl of buildings and rooms dedicated both to a history of Japanese toys but also toys around the world. It was charming and lovely, and although the exhibits could have used more explanation, there was enough, and we enjoyed playing with many of the toys.
At that big fancy grocery store in Tokyo, we’d bought some conical things with, we think, some sweet inside. It turns out they are basically Japanese Weeble-Wobbles! Does anyone else remember Weeble-Wobbles? “Weeble-Wobbles wobble but they don’t fall down!”
Exquisite paper lantern toys:
I love the idea of puppet sets packed like this for a particular story.
And these are a little creepy, with their movable eyes.
The people at the museum were so nice. They let me charge my camera battery while I wandered, and even insisted on driving us to the local train station to get back. The downside of this was that Matt didn’t notice right away that he’d put on someone else’s shoes! Luckily, the young lady hadn’t finished driving off from dropping us off when he realized, so we drove back, switched shoes, and she dropped us off again.
For our last night in Himeji, we decided to skip late-night ramen in favor of another ramen house recommended in TripAdvisor. It was great fun, with a lovely host. He had signs up about no photos, but enjoyed explaining that he means Japanese people, and that we could take them if we wanted. Here’s his kitchen:
And then it was home again, home again, for a little more time in the hotel onsen. Yay! Hot hot baths!