June 4th 1998, a Thursday

Today is Thursday, our day for Nagano, the city. The group met at the Matsumoto Aki at 9:00 AM allowing me much time to sleep in. Awaking, I found that I still had 15 minutes until I had to get up. There I laid, and for some reason opera was on my radio. Strangely, the night before, the same station was more like modern music. I got up and surprised Sugiyama-San, for his son never gets up on time. I began my revised Japanese morning routine. By taking my shower at night, I have less to do in the morning. First, I eat breakfast, which today was an egg with ham cooked in it. Afterwards, I brush my teeth, and comb my hair and am ready to leave. Again, the trip to the station was quick. We did, however, almost get hit by some small utility truck.

Everyone arrived on time to travel to Nagano, a one hour stretch. Again, I made the ride slide with Gameboy . v Nagano is quite a large town at about one million people. Quoting Sophie, the Olympics have changed this town forever. Everywhere you look you see those drn snowlets. The majority of our day was spent in vain as we never found the local Pizza Hut. We did find the arcade where we spent much time. One game, Virtuon, was dominated by Dave Nelson, but I spent my time at Time Crisis 2. Also at the arcade was a hip hop game I was sure that James would be good at, but he only passed the first level. Ha!

The Zenkoji Temple was next on our list. I got a few pictures with various obelisk, but I am still looking forward to the five story tall Buddha in Nara.

Oh yes, I forgot about our trip to the Manga Store! Every wall of this place was either stacked with manga novels or adorned with posters corresponding to the comics. I am not a big manga fan so I saw nothing I wanted. Alice, on the other hand, spent her life savings.

The train ride home was uneventful, aside for a mistake the conductor made. I guess, people were left at a station and we had to go back. Although this seems trivial to me, for the Japanese it is devastating to be late.

Tonight, the host family took me bowling. Unfortunately, the place was packed due to a tournament. We decided instead to play billiards. I was the only one that knew how to play, and 8-ball is not an easy-to-learn game! Everything turned out well, but Gaku had a little trouble playing. Eventually the tournament thinned out and we bowled. I am not good at bowling, but still won the first game with a 105. The rest of the games did not go so well.

Right now I am attempting to find a good radio station to record. Last night, this station, I believe Nagano 97.3 FM, was pretty kickin' but now it is just Elton John! NO! Well, I will find something cool soon.

Tomorrow will be a trip between two ancient cities on foot. I like to hike, so surely, tomorrow will be fun. What hasn't been fun? Sayonara once again!