After a cozy night sleep at our airbnb, Kelc, Shimmy and I woke up early Monday morning to get the most out of our day. There was rain in the forecast but we didn't let that stop us from adventuring out to Atami city.
From Odawara station we took the train about 30 minutes to Atami station. The train ride over was honestly SO DOPE. I was freaking out the whole time. The train cruises high up on the mountains overlooking the ocean and it was breathtaking. I wish that was my daily commute!
At this point I realized I wasn't in the big city anymore.
From the station we took a bus 10 minutes to Atami castle. I had seen a photo of this place via instagram and knew I had to check it out. The ropeway is apparently the "shortest ropeway in Japan" lol and cost about $5 roundtrip.
mid post interruption---next to the castle there is this very inappropriate museum that we didn't know about until we got there. So once you get up to the top of the ropeway you have NO CHOICE but to walk through the entrance of this inappropriate museum just to get to the castle. WHY JAPAN?? WHY??? We walked there once and thought "this cannot be the way..." and pleaded with the people to show us the correct way to the castle but they insisted "that is the way." WHAT? Who's idea was that?? So literally, with two hands on the side of our faces shielding what was in view, we ran past the museum entrance out the door to the castle. PHEW. I mention this just to warn any of those who plan to visit this very beautiful place...please find a way to get to the bus stop that drops you off in front of the castle and avoid the ropeway (although the ropeway is awesome)!
Alright, so once at the entrance to the castle we saw this incredible view with early cherry blossoms in bloom. Looking down at the coast I couldn't help but be reminded of honolulu.
We then payed about $8 to enter the castle. Most shrines and castles in Japan are free, but I think Atami castle is more of a tourist spot than a religious or historical place so they have turned it into a bit of a profit machine. Plus, it does offer an amazing view that is worth paying for!
whoaaaaa...literally a castle in the sky!
The castle had a mountain view side and an ocean view side. The best of both worlds.
These three kids in matching mickey sweaters were running laps around the castle and it was so cute. Pure happiness.
We ended our Atami Castle tour with some yummy ice cream because, even on a rainy day, ice cream is always good. I loved being in a totally new place just wandering around and exploring. Although we did run into a few unexpected things, being with Kelc and Shimmy made it all so much fun!
Nothing better than a new city with old friends.