kuroe and I made the journey using entirely local trains, which cut the cost of travel in half. It also confused both the machines and the station staff, but we managed to sort it out. We ended up going later than we originally thought, which meant we saw the Shizuoka coastline and Mt Fuji at sunset.
It was dark when we got there, so we checked into our hotel and headed for the ruins of Sunpu-jou. We thought that we'd just look at the outside, but it turns out that it's fine to wander through the grounds at night. In the photo, you can see the restored gatehouse reflected in the moat. If you look closely, you might also be able to see the tons of koi carp that gather around the water-level lamps.
Inner gate // Ieyasu Tokugawa statue
Inside, there's a large park and a number of statues, including Ieyasu Tokugawa and a large white ball dedicated to Shizuoka's first honorary citizen. The photo of Ieyasu was difficult to get because it was so dark I couldn't see anything through the viewfinder. All I could do was point and guess, hoping the flash would do all the work.
Light display // Swan
These are a few shots of the city of Shizuoka. The last one has a swan in it, which we saw as we emerged from the ruins of Sunpu-jou.
The next morning, we got up early. Tenimyu was at midday and we hoped we could see Mt Fuji from Miho no Matsubara beforehand. Miho no Matsubara is famous for having one of the three scenic views of Fuji. For some reason though, the entire area seems near-inaccessible by public transport. We decided to go to the nearest station and just keep walking, which could have taken as little as an hour... or it could have taken much longer. I took these next pictures (and the second photo) just outside Shimizu station, next to the docks.
Ship // Docks
I really love all three of these pictures, since they capture the feeling of bright, early morning sunlight and a clear sky beautifully. It was like the harbour used a completely different colour scheme from real life. We kept walking and saw beautiful views of Fuji, but we also realised we weren't going to see the famous one and get to Tenimyu on time. We wandered around the marine park, which had a raised brick walkway that seemed straight out of Final Fantasy.
We hopped on a boat and went back to Shimizu Station, getting some of the best photos of Fuji on the way.
Mt Fuji // Mt Fuji // Mt Fuji // Tug boat // Mt Fuji // Mt Fuji // Mt Fuji
The last one and the third photo in this post are my favourite. They were taken on the boat, so you can really see the dark, clear water of the harbour.
Next, Tenimyu! It opened with a song I'm calling "One More Step", which was the theme for this musical. Shitenhouji's theme was something like "Shitenhou-houji" and both were pretty singable with breaks for quickly-spoken lines of dialogue. Both themes mixed well for the climax. We'll have fun with that when it comes out in karaoke format.
They had Sakuno in this one! Oh, and I really liked Konjiki and Hitouji doubles, but it's difficult to know how to respond properly to TnO's only canon gay pairing. Doesn't it play into homophobia, considering the target audience? The other character's reactions are key and they aren't positive in the slightest. I don't know... they're too much fun for me not to love. I'll try not to think too hard on this one.
Loved Tooyama, since his actor had so much energy. I definitely noticed him, plus Konjiki and Hitouji, dancing and wiggling whenever a Shitenhouji player was singing. And his wuxia battle with Ryouma and the end was... funny? Epic? Both?
I had an aisle seat, so there were a bunch of Tenimyu boys close to me. Akutsu strode past near the start of the second half and Tezuka and Shiraishi appeared for FGKS. I skipped over a lot of reviews of it earlier... would anyone like to link me to theirs now?
Afterwards, we headed to the Toro Ruins and saw Mt Fuji in sunset-pink in the distance. It was getting quite late by then, so I thought that we wouldn't be able to see much. However, there's no entrance charge and we were able to look around a site that was so important it spurred the creation of the Japanese Archaeology Association. I took a number of photos, but didn't like many of them as modern houses or blue tarpaulins were too easily seen in the background. The next photo, through careful use of angles, has the least evidence of modern life.
Reconstructed Yayoi-era house
After that, we boarded a local train and came back to Tokyo.