Nov 23, 2008

長野小旅行 2008 ② - Nagano 2008 Part Two












As we realise, it's the final day of our Nagano trip. Because of a packed day yesterday, we completely passed out last night. We were excited about the day ahead from the morning.

Since our steam locomotive was departing shortly after 10:00AM, we got up at 7:00AM. It was another sunny day against the weather forecast. We got ready after having a bath in a hot spring and eating lots of food for breakfast!

We didn't think there would be as many people at the railway station today, but how wrong were we? There were tons of people lining up to see the steam locomotive on a very cold Sunday morning.

What an another lovely 1hr trip on steam locomotive we had! We realised afterwards that, in order to celebrate Shinetsu Line's 120th anniversary, this steam locomotive is running only during this long weekend. We couldn't appreciate how lucky we were.

As we had a full afternoon to ourselves, we enjoyed a long walk up to the Zenkoji Temple. This town is so much fun to walk around!

Zenkoji Temple was packed with people on this sunny Sunday lunchtime. We relaxed ourselves by having a pancake and a cup of Matcha at a cafe. My mushroom pancake was tasty!

Late in the afternoon, we decided to head to the venue for the"Nagano Fireworks Festival" from Nagano station by bus. Unlike the trip we made to Tsuchiura for fireworks, there weren't that many people heading to the event. While we were wondering this event may not be as big, we found lots of people once we arrived at the venue by the riverside. As it got closer to the opening of the fireworks, more and more people started showing up. And more, and more...

What can I say about this fireworks festival? In one word... brilliant! I have never seen anything like this before. Before we came to Nagano, we presumed that all the photos they had on the event's website and brochures were Photoshop-ed. :-P We saw the fireworks as illustrated in their marketing materials... in a much greater scale. It was such a wonderful fireworks, and we felt that it was definitely worth coming by using the final bullet train on the day on such a cold day. Event organisers and fireworks artists... thank you all so much!

Because it was such a packed and wonderful two days trip to Nagano, we were so tired on the bullet train. We were saying to ourselves 'it would be great if this trip is at least decent', but it turned out to be such an amazing and unforgettable Nagano steam locomotive trip. Thanks also to Teruko, who made this wonderful trip with me together!

Nagano, Snow Locomotive, North Alps... all wonderful!

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