I and my young brother went to Hiruzen Kogen, north of Okayama area for an errand. We got on a Nozomi super express bullet train from Shin-Yokohama bound for West Japan at 08:10 in the morning. We hit Okayama at 11:10. At the station, we were supposed to rend a car. I thought we could rent a car without reservation, which turned out completely wrong. We contacted all of car rental companies around the station area. Unfortunately, no of them has vehicles available for the day.

We decided to take either train or bus to the town. But we had no idea how to get there. So we visited the tourist information at the station. They were not able to provide information how to get there although Hiruzen Kogen is a popular tourist destination in the prefecture. Instead, they just suggested we should go to the bus operator ticket offices at bus terminal in front of the station. There are two operator offices. We found a bus run by Chutetsu Hokubu bus. The staff at the office explained how to get there to us with smile and politely . According to them, we should take a bus to JR Chugoku Katsuyama station and transfer to a Maniwa city’s community bus . The Chutetsu bus was scheduled to come at 11:56, just a few minutes. Now that we know we can move forward, we felt relieved. The staff told us it is the bus we should ride when it was coming. They were really godsends to us.

The bus took an expressway, stopped for short break at a rest area and hit JR Chugoku Katsuyama station at 13:45. We had to wait for another bus for about an hour. We found a restaurant inside the station and had lunch there. It is a Japanese style restaurant serving noodle dishes and rice bowl dishes. My brother chose a set of Udon noodle and Tempura. I chose a set of Udon noodle and Teriyaki chicken on rice. They were delicious hearty meal. It was a pop and mom restaurant. They were very friendly. We had a good time.

At the waiting room of the bus office, we met a young guy from South Asia. He spoke Japanese fluently. He mentioned he is on the way to Onsen, hot spring on business. I did not tell what he is doing. I did not ask him further. But we would figure out what it means later.

The community bus to Hiruzen Kogen came at 14:35. The bus is a mini bus for max 20 persons. There were only five passengers including us. We were going for an hour long on the winding mountain road. The bus connects between the station on the town’s center and Hiruzen Kogen, a resort area in the mountain area 4 times a day. It is the only public transit in the town.

After an hour ride, we got off at Tochinoki bus stop, where our ante was waiting. After we completed the errand, we headed for Hiruzen Kyukamura Hotel by our cousin’s car. The view of a mountain with crowds came into my eyes during the ride. Hiruzen is the name of the mountain with an elevation of 1,202 meters straddles between Okayama and Tottori prefectures. It is a part of Daisen-Oki National Park. The hotel is located in front of grassland and the mountain. In summer, holiday makers come to take refuse from city’s summer heat. In winter, people come to ski.

The dinner was served at the dining room with the view of the mountain. Staff members are Nepalis and Thai. Everyone speaks perfect Japanese with gentle smile and manner. They would answer questions precisely when asked about the food. Every word they speak reflects their warm heart. They are not overdone by Japanese colleagues. I realized the spirits of hospitality is not only Japanese specialty. I think we should think towards living with foreign people more positively.

We had breakfast at the dining room at 07:00. We had to pack our luggage quickly and got on the community bus at 08:40 from the hotel for Okayama. It was really crush trip. I wish I could stay longer and see the place more.