This past Saturday, we rode the "Awesome" Asama Shinkansen to Karuizawa. This is one stop prior to Nagano, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. It was great to get out of Tokyo and it's always a plus for Max to broaden his knowledge of the Shinkansen trains so he can then beg for the models for his "blue tracks".
Here, Max and Rich pose in front of our train. In just 65 minutes, we traveled 90 miles. But perhaps more impressive than the speed, we felt worlds away from Tokyo.
Karuizawa is a mountain resort town with an active volcano (Mt. Asama), hot springs, and tons of outlet shopping. While Rich and the other dads we met there played with the kids, I went to a concert with two other women to hear famous Japanese tenor Shigehiro Sano accompanied by a solo pianist (also famous, apparently). Not normally my interest but it was lovely and a great escape.
Here's Max and Daddy waiting to board our train.
We lucked out when a Max train pulled into the station on the track opposite ours so we got a family shot in front of it.
Here's Max from inside the Asama Shinkansen with the Max train in view on the opposite track.
Here's Max with the three little girls he spent the day with. He was at a bit of a loss with them. The language and gender differences are starting to become more of a social stumbling block.
But you can't go wrong with ice cream. In this picture he looks pure Puglisi. Those of you who have seen pictures of me as a child will understand.