This was a busy day for us meaning Martin and I. No Maya today. We started off going to the Nijo Castle in Kyoto. This is the castle of one of the Shogun's of Kyoto. I am writing this from memory as I am currently sitting at the XIV Resort near Mt.Fugi and I have forgotten my pamphlets back in Kyoto. I will have to fix it later. It is about 400 years old and really cool! It looks like the set of a samurai movie. There are various rooms within the castle for various purposes. Greeting other shoguns, eating, sleeping and the like. The coolest part of the Castle thought is the "Nightingale" floors. These floors are used throughout the castle, which by the way is practically made up of wood and paper, to alert of an intruder. The wooden floors squeak like a nightingale bird with virtually every step that you take. Strategically placed nails and brackets make this happen. And, it does not matter how lightly you step the floors will always squeak. So, imagine all those visitors walking around the castle at the same time, it was a like being in a bird cage with a 50 birds squeaking. It's not deafening by any means but it is very noticeable.
So after grabbing a bite to eat we headed off to the Hanshin Tigers / Chochien Dragons baseball game. What an experience that was thanks to Kay's brother-in-law Tachan who worked to get us the tickets for the sold out game. Thanks Tachan!! Most of the crowd were supporting the Tigers but there was a single section of Dragons fans. The Crowd really gets into the game. There are strategically placed chants cheering on their team. One interesting thing is that there was not any yelling at the other team only cheering on the team that you are rooting for. Pretty classy I thought. And, when your team is at bat then that is when you cheer / sing or whatever but when the opposing team is batting then you are quiet and let their fans cheer. Pretty organized I thought. I know this because beside us sat 3 girls who were tigers fans and they spent a lot of time answering our questions. Ok, so the really cool part of all this is that in the 7th inning everyone in the stadium, and I mean everyone, blows up a balloon, some had 2 or 3, and lets go at the same time shooting thousands of colourful screeching balloons into the air and onto the field. It was awesome to see!!! I got some great video of this that I will try to add to this post later. As for the game itself it ended in a 2 -2 draw after 13 innings of play. Martin and I had to leave at the end of the 12 inning as we were going to miss our train back to kyoto. I forgot to mention that the gave was held in osaka about 50 km's from kyoto. The home team tigers tied it up with their last batter at the bottom of the 9th. The stadium went totally ballistic!! We had tones of fun and I will not forget this any time soon.