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LANA in IMAICHI-CITY
Dear Students of West Middle School from Japan

Document of 14,June,1998
 
This is the front garden at my host:s home.  Do you notice the small shrine behind me and to the right?  It is of oya stone.  I am going to the area called Oya today to see where the stone is mined.  Often Japanese gardens have beautiful stones or rocks like these.
This is the back garden of my host:s home.  There is a small rock pond back here, as well as Japanese trees and plants.  it is very small, but very private and serene.  It is outside the bathroom, where the shower and bathtub are located.  Japanese really enjoy long soaks in very hot tubs!
The photos above are at Oya, the place where the stone is mined.  We toured very deep into the mine.  Now we are back above ground.  This special goddess, carved in stone (very large!)  is the Oya Kannon.  These water lilies were in a Japanese garden pond at a Buddhist shrine in Oya.  Also in this shrine are the oldest Japanese human bones found yet.  It is estimated that this human lived over 11000 years ago.  The bones seem smaller than most humans today.
This is a very fast train at Shinkansen.  We watched the trains come and go.  Most of the trains, like the one I:m standing in front of, may travel about 70 miles per hour.  But we also saw several *bullet* trains traveling through.  They did not even stop a the station^^it was very exciting to watch them zoom by.  I tried to take a photo, but I think it will be blurred.  They travel at 300 kilometers/hour.  Do you know how many miles per hour that would be?
Have you noticed how many photos show me eating?  Have you also noticed how much weight I am gaining on this trip?  Hmmm.  The Japanese food I have been eating is very good.  On the left, I am having soba noodles )wide noodles in a soup with broth and vegetables.  Delicious!  And on the right we are eating at a Chinese restaurant in Japan!  It was many different courses.  A few of the courses seemed like Chinese food in Rapid City, but some seemed quite different.

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