Japan    July, 1986.     3200 miles

Japan Overview

Daily Journal
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Japanese Vocabulary

Tokyo     Mon. 6/30/86     

Steve Holm John Travers Rick Fletcher

Arrived in Tokyo about noon after a long, long flight (through Seoul). Steveís friend, Ken-ken Hatanaka picked us up from the Airport. We hung out at Ken-kenís very tiny apartment and partied for a while. Ken-kenís very beautiful (and tiny) girlfriend Emi cooked us tongue stew.

Tokyo     Tue. 7/1     

Ken-ken and Emi Spent six hours in a Japanese bath house with Ken-ken and Brett Hon, and old Navy buddy of Steve and John. Got scrubbed, massaged, and water-logged. Met Emi at a Yakatori restaurant and proceeded to feast and drink Sho-chu Sours. Went to Henry Africaís, where Steve threw crackers at all the pretty women he could find.

Yokohama     Wed, 7/2     

Went sightseeing in Tokyo. Went to the Akihabara Electronics District to look for good deals, but the prices were no better than in the U.S. due to the poor yen exchange rate. Ate the largest bowl of Ramen Iíve ever seen for lunch. Next we went to Asakusa Kannon Temple, which
Akihabara Shopping area is surrounded by an outdoor shopping area. Met Isao Jugaoka and went to dinner(s). First stop Ė a great Yakatori restaurant. We then moved on to a very cool little Sushi/Sashimi place. Barely made the last train back to Brettís house in Yokohama.

Tazawako     Thu, 7/3     

Waiting for the train Left Yokohama for Tazawako (with Brett). Took the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Ueno Station in Tokyo to Morioka, cruising up to 240 kmh (150 mph). Took the local train to Tazawako, then a school bus up to the Minshuku (Japanese style hotel, where you sleep on Tatami mats). The owner drove us up to the Onsen (Hot Springs) in the back woods, where we relaxed for a while. Returned to a fantastic meal of Iím not sure what, but it included bamboo shoots in all different forms.
Osento Brett taking a Breather Typical Room in a Minshuku Steve getting ready to Sack out

Akita     Fri, 7/4     

Left Tazawako after another great meal at the Minshuku. Arrived in Akita around 10:00. Spent the day wandering around town. Saw a neat local fish market where we got a lot of surprised looks and laughs - we Gaijin (foreigners) stood out like sore thumbs! Went to
Temple the castle grounds and the Buddhist Temple. Found a beer garden on top of a large hotel On the Train and closed the place. Went to the station to catch a night train, but they wanted 8000 yen each for a sleeper car, and thatís all that was available. Went back to town to Hotel Hawaii, and got sucked into a Karaoke Bar by some locals that saw us passing by (this became a regular occurrence) and closed it down too. Finally got to sleep on a real (western) bed, but was too wasted to appreciate it. Bummer!

Matsumoto     Sat 7/5     

Which side are we supposed to be On? Crawled out of bed and made the train from Akita to Naoetsu. Naoetsu to Nagano to Dinner at the Minshuku Matsumoto. Met Isao and Yasukochi, who rented a car and drove about 2 Ĺ hours into the mountains on one of the narrowest, windiest roads ever (and on the wrong side, of course). Arrived at the Minshuku about 7:30. Went out in the rain to the outdoor Onsen, ate dinner, and collapsed.

Takayama     TSun, 7/6     

Out on the Town Me with Mieko and Akiko After another typical Minshuku breakfast, the five of us went to the Emperorís Onsen. We then drove to Takayama where we met Yasuís wife and her girlfriend Sachuko. Walked around Takayama for a while before meeting Mieko and Akiko and inviting them to lunch. You really don't want me to Sing! Lunchtime Got dropped off at Yamakyu Minshuku before everyone else left. Walked around town for a while and had a few beers. Bought my dad a toothpick dispenser and a Noren (door hanging). Were massively overcharged at the Karaoke Bar in the red lantern district. Watched the Sumo Wrestling on TV.

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