Visiting the Temple on a foggy...
Visiting the Temple on a foggy evening, after the tourists have left is worth more than words can say. The best memories I have involve the people of Nagano. They were polite and helpful and enthusiastic in a time that could have become extremely stressful. A good example of this was when I misjudged the time and walked into a hardware store well before opening hours. That the doors were not locked is an indication of how obedient the Japanese people are to rules and regulations - nobody would ever dream of entering beforehand. Not reading Japanese, I didn't notice the sign stating store hours. It did not help that I had just finished the night shift - I think it was 8pm-8am, and I was a little bit dazed and confused in addition to being very excited.
When I walked in, the Staff were all going through their daily loyalty ceremony, with the store manager orchestrating their oaths and their bows. When they realized that I was desperate for film so that I could take pictures at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, they quickly dispatched one of their members to get the film and to specially open one of the cash registers so that I could pay. On my way out the entire staff of the store bowed me out with big smiles and surreptitious waves of the hand.
For me, this is a great example of the dichotomy that is Japan.