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Day 1, Sunday: Aug. 22, 2004

Day 2

On August 22, 2004, we finished our 14th class of the week, then walked to the train station and caught a train to Kiryu, a beautiful little village in the mountains of Gunma prefecture....a five hour ride. In Kiryu, we rested a bit at Hiromi’s parent’s house then set out in their little blue Subaru for Niigata, on the Japan Sea side of Japan. Departing at 1:30AM (to avoid Japanese traffic), Hiromi drove us all night through the mountains and arrived in Niigata at 7:30AM, just about the time that McDonald's opened! We had plenty of time to explore the town and board the good ship Lilac, bound for Otaru in Hokkaido, Japan's Northernmost Island.

2004年8月22日、週14クラスをこなした後、藤沢駅まで歩いて、桐生までは約5時間電車の旅。 桐生は群馬の山々に囲まれた美しい小さな町です。 桐生ではHiromiの両親の家で少し横になった後、彼らの愛車青いスバルに乗って新潟へ向かいます。1:30AM に出発し、7:30AM に新潟に着きました。マクドナルドが開こうとする時間です。新潟の町を少し乗りまわった後、小樽向けフェリー、ライラックで、いざ北海道へ!

Japan is about the size of California, but only 27% of the country is habitable. So Japan is VERY crowded...except for Hokkaido, which is home to only about 5% of the populace, because of the intense cold winters. In the summer, even the late summer, Hokkaido is easily one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I think America should have kept Hokkaido, and perhaps given California to Japan.


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