02.09.2011 - 04.09.2011 25 °C
Matsumoto was the second stop on our 2 month tour. It's a town in the Nagano prefecture, on the west coast of Japan.
When we arrived, we visited Matsumoto Jo, the castle inside the town. It was amazing; made entirely of wood in the most beautiful setting. We had a tour by an old Japanese lady who told us all the stories of the old Shoguns who lived there, and the Warlords and Samurai’s who defended it; it felt unreal, magical almost.
After the trip to the castle it was getting late, so we went out for some quiet drinks. This ended up being quite raucous as a Japanese family came running over to our table when they realised we were English-they wanted to know all about us and also wanted to translate the whole menu for us! Which was very sweet, very funny, and extremely lucky.... as i was about to order the 'meibutsu', the local speciality...which turned out to be raw horse meat...
The following day, Jane and I went for our first ever Japanese massage, which turned out to be surprisingly intimate...I worried something had been lost in translation and I was headed for a prostate massage at one point (especially when she hopped onto the bed with me), but it turned out to be quite good as she wrenched my body around, clicking bones back into place, pulling and stretching everything, we certainly feel like it made a big difference!
The following evening we enjoyed an evening of karaoke, which was a surreal but wonderful experience! We rented out a small booth and sang to each other, changing the key of the song to suit our voices, doing duets, dancing on the seats...it was really great.
We finally came around to doing some actual work on our final evening, performing Weasel in the Sack, which went really well, and the following day we travelled to Nagano city, to visit a large Buddhist temple called Zenko-Ji. After that we headed back to Tokyo for a few more days, and we were all glad of it really... a typhoon hit the Nagano area and it was raining everyday. We were constantly hearing about flooding nearby and although it didn't effect us too much, we were happy to be getting back to sunny Tokyo!