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In my typical fashion, I have kept copious notes on a great deal of information that will likely interest no one. Still, I will share it with you now, just a week from my leaving this country. On that bicycle of mine, I managed to clock about 593 miles since I bought it Thursday, September 21. That is nearly the distance between Philadelphia and Indianapolis, Indiana and works out to be about nine miles a day or roughly 60 miles a week. Seeing that I will be selling Newton, my bicycle, to a mutual friend for 5,000 yen, half of her original cost, I certainly think I got my money’s worth. (Don’t worry; Newton’s new rider is a kind, gentle man, who will treat her well).

Here at home, I finished five 5-kg bags of rice, meaning I ate 55 pounds of Japanese-grown grain in less than four months. That is like me eating a healthy ten-year-old boy’s weight in rice, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

I am amazed by my tightfisted skimping. Excluding my apartment rent, I dropped just $1,490 on all the trips, all my food, all my hostels, all the buses and trains. Including all of my domestic travel, that means I spent an average of $12 a day in Japan. Fairly impressive seeing that I spent most of my time in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

I left Tokyo eight times, and spent time in five of Japan’s 47 prefectures, while remaining only Honshu, the Japanese mainland, without seeing any of the country’s three other main islands. I did see a great deal of Tokyo, and I probably should have, as I was here more than 110 days or about four months.

There are three people born in Japan whom I met here with whom I sincerely intend to keep in contact. I took more than 1,300 photographs and close to ten hours of video. If that doesn’t seem like much, you obviously have never been forced to watch someone’s home movies. Math was never a great strength of mine, but I think this shows I had one interesting experience, full of memories I won’t be able to forget, and the numbers don’t lie.

Jaa ne,

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