Monday, April 2
Life at 300 km/h

I'm woken today by the giddy sounds of my nephew. He clearly got a good nights sleep last night and is ready to start burning off energy.

Opting out of the days events - including a trip to an aquarium across the canal on the main island - I got some quiet time to verbalize some of the events into my journal, and rather than catching more pokemon I helped my brother attain the $1,000,000 level in "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" for my Gameboy.

Continuing our efforts of goofing off the entire morning, John and I went to some out-of-the-way shops primarily to look at some of the junk shops. There are a lot of stores that have trinkets in Japan, but the most entertaining are the ones that have old crap. We passed a store full of old toys. I had to check it out just to find out if they had 8-bit Nintendo games, Pizza Cats toys or Robotech toys (for Syl back home). No avail. However, we did spot an old handheld game both of my older brothers used to play. It's a black box racing game where you have a top-down view of these cars on a track. Fail to dodge one of the cars you're trying to pass and the gameplay stops, a bright red light silhouettes the cars in a starburst reminiscent of an explosion and the auditory sense is tackled by "WWAAAA WWAAAA WWAAAA WWAAAA" until the RESET button is depressed. There were four boxes there but each was 4500 yen (about $45) which seemed a little much to replace my current, modular handheld gaming system.

Back to the Chinese restaurant for more Chinese noodles and a 500 ml bottle of Asahi beer. Japanese beer looks like American but it's sooooo much better. For one thing, a typical ale will place nearly as much head at the rim of your glass than most English beers.

There was little more of note for the day except for my continued exploration of my camera features. The landscape feature comes in handy when you're nine floors above a major canal joining the Japan Sea with the Pacific Ocean and you want to get it all in one shot.

The ride home wouldn't have seemed quite as long if it wasn't for the fact that my Dad had developed a killer headache leaving me to battle twice as much luggage plus the various gifts and souvenirs we had both picked up on the trip. Sleeping on the floor for two nights didn't directly cause me any pain, but I believe that it compounded the excessive behavior I forced out of my arms on the trip back to Kyoto.

I enjoyed the 300 km/h trip down, but I definitely appreciated the concatenated trip time more when I had accustomed myself to total and utter relaxation.

Collapsed into bed. Sort out the bags in the morning. Good night