Day 19 - Tue 20 Apr 2004
Phew - what a day! up at 6:20 to 'do' the Tateyama-Kurobe Trans-Alpine route. The rain really came down last night, I was going to
photograph the castle, but it didn't stop until about 10pm. So I stayed in and found a english movie about a kid with 'magic' football boots.
Anyway back to today - caught the 07:09 train to Shinano-Omachi station - the train stopped at every station and became more and
more crowded with school children. No body pushes on a train here - they tip toe around each other, and people don't even
move out of the way to help. It's like a little dance.
From Shinano-Omachi I caught the 8am bus to Ogiswa where I get on an electric trolley bus which drives through the a tunnel
in the mountainside up to the Kuobe Dam. On the bus I met a family, and although english was not their strong point - they did know "Iron Bru".
I took their photo at the dam, and then they grabbed a stranger and got him to take a photo of me with them!
From the dam there is a funicular railway up an other tunnel in the mountain to a stop with a garden - great views, but no flowers, just snow.
From there I took the cable car up to Daikanbo - but the place was covered in cloud - gutted! I hung around for a bit
in the hope that the cloud would lift, but gave up and headed for the cable car. Just as I was about to step into the
car, the wind got up and tore a hole in the clouds. For about 10 seconds I got to see all the way down the mountain to the
cable car base. Managed to get some photos, and got on the cable car. The journey down was a lot less crowded!
I can't help wondering that if I had stayed a little longer would the clouds have cleared? I doubt it, but it was well
worth the money and the early start.
Back in Matsumoto I checked my e-mails, and it looks like the US office do want me to stay - so I'll be
away for a total of five weeks.