My blog whilst I'm in Japan, 17th to 29th July, 2006, and hopefully sometime thereafter.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nagoya

Rewind to Saturday. I arrived in Nagoya around 2pm. It was hot and damp (today's forecast is heavy showers, 31 degrees Celsius and 84% relative humidity; tomorrow's forecast is sunny, 33 degrees and 54% relative humidity). Nagoya is Japan's fourth biggest city, population 2.2million. I trudged around looking for some lunch, to no avail, then a café, but no luck. Tired, hot, sweaty and irritable, I nearly gave up and booked myself into another bijinesu hoteru (business hotel), like the one's I'd stayed in in Sendai and Fukuoka. These are Western style (that's Travelodge, not Lee Marvin), but all sources (friends and guidebooks) said a stay in a ryokan was a must. I steeled myself, found a café, had the ubiquitous elixir known as aisu koohii, and got a subway to Kamimaezu and walked to Ryokan Yamazen - now I was really in Japan. Photos of Ryokan Yamazen on my flickr site.

I'd gone to Nagoya for the suumo basho (note, pronouncing it "soomow" - as the spelling "sumo" implies to English speakers - is unintelligible to Japanese). However, Sunday was the last day of the basho (tournament) and it was sold out. Asashoryu lost his last bout, but won the tournament 14-1. (Each wrestler competes once for each of the fifteen days of the basho.) Details and pictures on Cibersumo in English and Spanish. On Sunday night I saw a suumo wrestler in the ramen shop I was in. I was too busy slurping to get a photo (and feeling too much like a gaijin - foreigner - to get a camera out).

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