Konichiwa from Japan! The trip here was actually pretty long. The day started at 4:45am. We were at the airport by 6:30 and on to a 4 hour flight to Tokyo. Once in Tokyo, we had a 6 hour bus trip to look forward to. All in all it was a pretty long day. We had practice the next morning, but this practice was going to have to happen without me. The past few weeks I’ve had some back pain building up. Unfortunately I probably didn’t deal with it fast enough and this compounded the problem. After training and racing through pain last week, and combined with the long day of travel, my back decided it had had enough of suffering. I had been doing a lot of physio, but after seeing the doctor I was told that I should take at least 48 hours rest and see how it was after that. He also said it was unlikely that I will race this weekend. I was definitely a little bummed out, but I was in quite a bit of pain so I agreed. We will see how it improves each day and make a decision right before the races on Friday. After one day of rest I am seeing some improvement but not a ton. It sucks for sure but I have to be positive and hey, I am in Japan which is pretty cool…
View from my hotel room in late afternoon
Nagano is a very nice city. Almost 400 000 people live here but you would never know it. Everything is very neat and tidy. There are a lot of small houses and everyone seems very friendly. Nagano is also surrounded by mountains and the sunset every night is gorgeous. Today, we visited the Zenkoji temple that houses the oldest statue of Buddha in Japan. Very cool. The thing that struck me most about our first real foray into the city was how clean everything is. There isn’t any garbage anywhere and everything is in its place. And this is everywhere, not just on the tourist streets but even in the back alleys that we cut through to get back to the hotel. Now you might expect that the reason that there isn’t any garbage is because there a garbage can on every corner but this is not the case. Its almost impossible to find a trash bin. After buying some gelato, I had to walk almost ten minutes without seeing a garbage can and finally gave up and went in a store to throw out my trash. I found it amazing that there can be no garbage cans and no garbage. If only it could be like this is North America.
At the Zenkoji Temple