I went way north of Tokyo with my job on the weekend. It was long by Japanese standards, about four hours each way on the Bullet train. In Canada, that wouldn't even be a trip to Grandma's house. When you are travelling at about 250kmh, nothing seems to take too long.

Anyway, here is the Shinkansen. This the second fastest one, the Hikari (light). There is one that goes even faster and looks even more like a spaceship, the Nozomi (Hope), but I didn't have time to get a picture.

Anyway, I went up to place called Nasu, in Tochigi. It was nice to see the area as I have never been north of Tokyo before. Quite different actually. I saw cows. And farms. And not very many people. Kinda like where I grew up except no white people.

They say that the Emperor vacations there, which is easy to believe as the indicators of the old nationalism are a little more evident there. Like this "Museum of War" complete with the old flag.

And the Uyoku guys were out in the big van demanding that everyone respect the Emperor. On its own, that would not have been a strange thing; Uyoku trucks can often be seen around Nagoya. What made is a little more unnerving the passenger rolled down his window, stuck his head out with camera in hand, and took a picture of me. He made it very obvious by advancing the film, taking careful aim, and taking another one. As my small act of rebellion, I decided I would get a picture of him too. I took out my cell phone, and I guess it was obvious what I was up to, because he scrambled to close his window. This is all I got:

Weird day. I hope I didn't get myself on some yakuza, "uppity foreigners to watch" list.