Today we are heading to a beautiful part of the country called Nagano, where the 98 Winter Olympics were held. Drew and Megumi spent over a year living in Saku, a smaller city in the region. We are going there to spend time with the church they were a part of. Drew and Meg were passionate about taking us there and allowing us to see a typical Japanese church, most of which are very small. Drew calls it one of the most beautiful places he has been, and the boy is from Appalachia, so that makes this boy excited.
I've heard the weather in Missouri has been awful. Japan just entered its rainy season, but the weather has been anything but. It has been gorgeous - upper 70s and 80s the past couple of days. It has been perfect for touring Tokyo. Last night we stayed at the Sakura Hostile (not brothel, as one of our to-be-nameless Appalachian men mistakenly called it :) ). While the accommodations were simple, they were just what we needed. All our men and women could each stay in a room as a group together. Finally I got a full night's sleep. I feel like I've killed the jet-lag dragon. I'm excited for the rest of our trip. This morning we got up and visited the main Buddhist temple in Tokyo. It was, as Josh Rice put it last year, a "feast for the eyes, but a famine for the soul."
Anybody heard this Rich Mullins classic? My friend Joel Lillie taught Rich the first part of the song while he was in Thailand. I can't get this out of my head. I miss you, Rich. Your music is still soul-jarring and stirring. So privileged by God to be here in Japan.
My wife gently told me I might be photo-slamming everyone. I'll take it a bit easy on the Instagram and try to post groups of pictures. Blessings to you all! Looking at beautiful Japanese mountains now as I ride on the 200 mph+ bullet train!