June 10th 1998, a Wednesday

Nara was today's destination. Leaving on time this morning was a pleasant change as we actually had time to eat breakfast. Belgian Waffles and a cappuccino (ew! American coffee is much better! Even on the plane the coffee was horrible) is what I ended up getting.

Soon, our train left and we were on our way. For some reason, I dominated over our prodigy today in Tetris. I was in my "zone" I guess.

In Nara, we were met by one of Tanka-San's friends who was going to give us the grand tour of Nara.

First and foremost, we traveled to see a huge Buddha. Aside from being insanely massive, this guy was encased along with four or five other massive statues in one gigantic building (which burned down three times so far, by the way). Larry lent me a disposable camera to use for the rest of the trip in case my camera was not found. Thanks man!

Of course, there is a happy ending to the lost camera story. The guy guiding us, Yagi-San, had us over for lunch, and there he contacted the Peace Park and arranged for my camera to be delivered to the Holiday Inn, where we are staying on Saturday night. I am still amazed my camera was found. I still don't have it in my hands, but I am banking on Mr. C's guarantee.

After lunch, one of Yagi-San's friends took us to the Sharp Factory where we got a tour of historical electronics advances as well as a view into the new technologies such as LCD displays and wireless communication.

The train ride back to Kyoto was uneventful. More Tetris, and we decided to split up. Larry, Dave, Ryan, and James went back to the hotel and the rest of us went to Sega World (Joypolis to the Japanese) and shopping afterwards. At Joypolis, Alice blew 2,200´ on a stuffed animal (one of those crane machines·) and I blew easily 3,000´ on Jurassic Park, VirtuaCop2, and other games. I don't really feel bad as I had a wonderful time. Looking back, today was one of my better days.

As a challenge, Mr. C had us find our way home. Again, it was raining so the subway was the preferred mode of travel. Sara and Sophie took leadership, reading maps and finding what subway to take, but I didn't need a map . I seem to have a nose for some of these things. Don't believe me? Ask Alice! It was fun again, stepping out of our comfort zones, to see how independent we could be.

We made it home without a hitch (okay, I'd have gotten lost w/o a map· still ) to find the hostel room covered in toilet paper. Hmm, a toga party seems to have taken place in our room. I'm not cleaning it up!

Thursday, tomorrow, we will all go to Tokyo and stay in the Asia Center of Japan again. It sounds as though the zoo is on our agenda, but more on that later!