Another day in Nagano. Lots of walking.
LOTS of it.
I got up late. I slept in until 9:30 a.m. because I was tired.
I’m sure Nagano has a lot of great Olympic-related sights, but I decided to skip those. It just didn’t do anything for me, and if I can’t ride the bobsled, what’s the point? (Also, I didn’t want to risk injury on the skating rink at M-Wave.)
First off was Zenkoji Temple. It’s famous. Or at least the mobs and mobs of people there led me to believe that. It was pretty, but I didn’t get much more out of it than that. Maybe I’m suffering from temple burnout. It was just a huge crush of middle-aged and elderly people shuffling around in tour groups having their pictures taken in staged settings. The photographer would have bleachers set up in the standard “Here’s where I take the group picture” place, and they all lined up and dutifully went through with it.
Definitely not my cup of tea.
I did take a few pictures of it:
Heading to the temple:
Looking back in the direction I just came:
The outer gate is impressive:
You can see the inner gate in the distance. Here’s a shopping street full of restaurants and souvenir shops:
Getting closer to the inner gate, but there’s nothing to see–it’s closed for renovation.
Entering the temple (more shichi-go-san, but no children present today, just tour groups of seniors):
Turtles Chillin’ Out:
Shots of Various Temple Buildings:
This is a backlit shot of the inner gate, if I remember correctly.
Heading out to JR Nagano:
Passing down the souvenir shop street again:
After the 1.4 Km hike there, I took the bus to the station to get lunch and get some ideas for seeing mountains and scenic stuff. Something that didn’t involve mobs of tourists and bleachers. Since it was noon, the department store was open, so I bought some sandwiches and a chocolate croissant.
I took a few photos of the area around JR Nagano:
Okay, this post is getting long. Time to break it into two parts. Togakushi is in Part Two!