Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ready for another tour

Once more, my bags are packed and waiting for me at the door. I really should be getting to bed, but seeing as my routine has seen me in bed around the 2AM mark, I am totally not ready for bed and have been trying to find excuses not to go! I'll probably end up just tossing and turning until two, so I may as well stay up right?

We'll be hopping on the ol' Bullet Train tomorrow morning for the piddly one and a half hour ride to Karuizawa, a resort town which will be our first stop on a five day run through Nagano prefecture. Karuizawa is where the rich and trendy from Tokyo go to escape the summer heat, should be an interesting place to visit for a bit.

On Friday, we move on to Nagano city, where Zenkoji temple sits in all its splendor.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be spent in Matsumoto and the surrounding area, which is the highlight of the trip. Matsumoto is home to the only genuine, original, never rebuilt castle in Japan. It is also a good base for day trips into the surrounding mountains, including Kamikochi where we'll be doing some hiking.

And then it's back here on Monday, and still a couple of days to chill out before the return to work. Should be a nice relaxing Obon vacation.

When I stopped home for lunch this afternoon, I got my first glance at Nantai-san from my apartment! I knew I should be able to see it from this angle, but it's been hiding in haze\clouds since I moved here in June. Finally, got a glimpse at it. Should be quite lovely this Winter when it gets capped in snow... Here it is below, the triangular darkness looming behind the foothills to the left of the building.


Stacy has received an email from Matto the travelling sensei in India, saying the Taj Mahal was a worthy visit, and the calmest building he'd ever seen. The heat is apparently not so oppressive and he is making his way down the West coast of India in the direction of Mumbai\Goa. Unfortunately, from what I read, the monsoon rains and wreaking havoc down there these days, hope he's able to get around ok.

I guess I had better get to bed... or go shower... or surf the web... not sure yet...lol Will be back in touch next week!

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