Do I Smell Culture?

10:00 pm

I am starting to become cognizant of my opportunities here. The central park of Morioka was recommended to me by one of the group leaders (whose name I’m not sure I ever properly caught) so I armed myself with my tripod and cameras and ventured in that direction. Good choice.

Japanese gardens stood on various terraces of the ruined walls of Morioka castle while the sun’s light slanted from the sky. The serenity of the place, however, was broken by the intricate patterns of groups of drummers practicing for the upcoming festival. I wandered through the trees, then down to the square where the drummers were accompanied by flutists and singers. Lost in the drumming, I failed to explore the whole of the park. The glimpse I had, however, revealed additional gorgeous possibilities.

Depending on the quality of my sleep, I may wake early and wind through more of the park’s paths though it is getting late already and breakfast tomorrow is early. We shall see.

After my explorations, I rejoined the group at the restaurant where the forced Japanese ‘vegetarian’ weight loss program continued. My meal had its high points of tasty seaweed wrapped rice, but the rest of the food was not especially pleasant – not to mention it was decorated with ham on one portion of the plate. Sour vinegar lined the bottom of the dish making anything it touched unpalatable – noodles and vegetables were soaked and later discarded.

After dinner, the rest of the group continued its evening at an Irish pub. I considered staying in an attempt to find a partner for a game of darts, but quickly abandoned the bar. Drinking and socializing were the order of the night and I couldn’t be bothered to wear an energetic mask for long. Sleep is a more intriguing companion tonight.

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