Chapter 20:

Nagano: Chapter 16

The Kimochi Warui Diary

The great lake of Shimo Suwa stretched for miles—a horizon rivalling even that of our shoreline back in California. Behind it, the mountains made red and orange through autumn leaves.Bookmark here

“Nice lake,” Jotaro said.Bookmark here

Across the street, elementary schoolers were walking in single-file lines with their P.E. teachers. One of them pointed and called us foreigners: 外人.Bookmark here

We’d seen the lake. And not only that, but we’d also stopped by some large temples. Torako was thrilled to have told me all about them in his recommendation last night:Bookmark here

“Trust me, Shimo Suwa will fix all your problems. The lake is beautiful, but more importantly, this is the very same town that inspired the setting of Touhou Project! In fact, at the main shrine, you can see wooden plaques that fans of the game have drawn on. Who knows, you might even be able to see the one that I drew on when I visited—”Bookmark here

How was any of that the more important part!?Bookmark here

Shimo Suwa was conveniently located closer to Osaka than any of our other destinations. That would make it easy to check out the town, hop on the train after lunch, and get to Osaka by nightfall. We wouldn’t have to cancel any bookings.Bookmark here

Our crisis had been averted, but I couldn’t get it out of my head: the image that snow monkeys were running and dancing around in Jotaro’s head. Bookmark here

He seemed content taking photos of the lake. Regardless of what he was actually imagining in his head, he didn’t complain even once.Bookmark here

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