On my second night in Sakai now, fresh from dinner and doing some writing before bed. I’m at the Hotel Agora Regency Sakai. Outside my window is a vast carpet of lights. I wish I could open the window and let some cool autumn breeze in. I’d prefer that over aircon. Other than that, I’ve no beef about the hotel and its service and amenities so far.
My first impression of Sakai: Very few people, so many bikes… and a city that sleeps early. Even at Kansai Airport where we arrived yesterday there was hardly any people around. At 8 p.m. local time it looked like a Philippine mall at closing time on a weeknight. It was eerie.
Today’s sole activity was visiting a Japanese temple to watch a Noh performance, Noh being a Japanese stage art that has been passed down from generation to generation in an unbroken line for over 650 years. The performance involved four guys with one — the master, who wore a creepy mask — doing a slow dance with a fan while two others chanted and one played a bamboo flute (an instrument I got to try later). Think Kabuki, only Noh is more ancient, we’ve been told. Cheesy at it sounds, I left the temple with new-found appreciation for Asian culture.
That was Day Two of this six-night, seven-day trip. Tomorrow, it’s mountain trek with elderly people, a visit to Shinto Shrine, and a courtesy visit to the mayor. Call time is 8:30 a.m., so I must park my pen now and catch some Z’s to lessen the possibility of me missing it. Because like everybody else, I tend to oversleep when I’m in a cool and quiet place.