Thursday, July 4, 2013

Greetings from Nagano!

Yesterday had stretched out a little to far maybe, but it was so fun !
I went to bed after 2 a.m. and woke up at 6.45. I think I might have misspoken in my video of today that I only slept 2 hours but of course anyone can count how much I slept. 
View from the JR Nagano Station

I got a lift to the Toyama station from Yuko. I was still feeling pretty tired and a bit fuzzy because we drank yesterday. 
Well I got the tickets and waited patiently on the train and ate some breakfast at the station bakery.
I had to take the limited express train and change once. I bought a bento to myself at the change station so that I would not starve.
When I arrived in Nagano station it was burning hot outside in the sun. The feeling was awful since I had actually felt a bit cold in the well air conditioned train and then I had to step out to a hot and humid platform. 

I then went to the stations coin lockers and left my stuff there, got myself a map of the city and I was set to go. 

I took the wrong exit at first but soon I noticed that and headed towards the right direction.
I walked 1.7 km to get to the Zenkoji Temple in Nagano. There is a bus that goes there as well but I like to walk and watch the scenery from near. There were many beautiful things to see along the main road leading to the temple. 

It was so damn hot outside! I enjoy the sun though but still, when walking I was constantly grabbing my bag for my water bottle. 

I soon had walked the whole way up to the temple and I have to say that I guarantee it is much more fun to walk the trip than take the buss.
Found the Finnish flag while walking ariound

The temple gates were amazing and beautiful like the temple and it's other buildings and gardens alike.  
Zenkoji

I spent a good while there to really absorb the scenery. I also heard and saw when they had their prayer time and saw also a mourning family that came there to pay respect to the just departed.
They brought the picture and (what I think was) the urn with them to the temple. 

After I had finished strolling around there I stared to return towards the station but before that I had to of course buy myself some typical Nagano treats. I bought myself a banana-chocolate SOBA crepe. [Soba= buckwheat used to make the soba noodles.] It was delicious! 
Nagano is known as the inventor of the soba noodles. 

Then I also had one of the most weirdest soft ice creams ever. I had the local MISO ice cream! It tasted weird only at the first taste but it actually tasted good. [Miso=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miso]

Soba-Crêpe 
I then walked around and went into the shopping arcade that I found while walking on the street.
I was getting so tired since I had walked so much and slept so little the past night. 
I took and sat down and pondered on where I should go next.
I just ended up going to the Internet cafe for 50 minutes before I had to go and take the train for Hakuba where I am currently staying in at my Couch Surfing host. 

I ate a bento in the train since the train ride was going to take quite a long time and it had many changes. 
I was a bit nervous if I would be able to get to the right platform in time since the time between the changes were only 4 minutes long. 

Well I got to the Hakuba station safely so all is well right now.
My host here is very kind and generous! (like every Japanese, right ;) ) 

Thanks for reading !
Robert