Day 04b: To Nagano with Love (Sep 2017)

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September 19th 2017
Published: November 12th 2017
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Tuesday, 19th September 2017

Kurobe-Unazaki Onsen >> Nagano (135.7km, 54 minutes, 6,350 Yen)

Nagano >> Shin-Takaoka (188.4km, 68 minutes, 7,430 Yen)

Shin-Takaoka >> Toyama (18.9km, 9 minutes, 2,680 Yen)

After my visit at the Kurobe Gorge, I continued my journey via the Shinkansen Hakutaka train to the city of Nagano in the afternoon. The main reason for this visit is not so much on the Zenkoji temple that the city is famous for. Rather, I was heading towards the M-Wave Arena where the Olympic Museum is located. The city last played host to the Winter Olympic Games in 1998 and there is a display of the memorabilia at the museum. As soon as I passed by the concourse of the JR Nagano Station, I was greeted by the huge Olympic Banner that stood proudly at one corner of the ticket gates.

Getting to the M-Wave was supposed to be a straight forward-affair since it only involved a direct 20-minute bus transfer at the JR station. Unfortunately, I still missed my alighting stop for the arena and had to kindly ask the driver to drop me off at the nearest crossing. The futuristic venue must have been a class of its own when it first opened its gates some 20 years ago. I was told that there was an in-house skating rink even though I had not seen one when I visited the sprawling complex.

Throughout my visit in the afternoon, I was the only visitor at the Museum where I had time to take pictures at the rostrum and paused by the various galleries for a better insight of the games history. Hopefully, as the Tokyo Games heats up in 2020, this would give the somewhat neglected museum a chance of revival. At the end of my half-hour visit, I stopped by the souvenir shop where I got myself a black memorial T-shirt and two complimentary collar pins.

By then, it was rather late for my temple-hopping activities in Nagano (as daylight was getting weak) and I decided to leave them as it is. For the rest of the evening, I made a brief stop at the Shin-Takoka Station for my shopping and eating needs at Aeon before returning to Toyama city.

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