Nagano First Part: General Impression

Entrada de Zenkoji (Principla templo Budista en Nagano)

With the arrival of the ,onth of March, I started my experience as wwoofer. What is a  wwoofer?For those who want to travel for extended periods of time in a country and save some money, while getting involved with the people from that  country, wwoof brings you the possibility to volunteer in organic farms and other small business related to organic living in exchange for shelter and food.

So with a backpack on my back and the other on my front, I took the Shinkansen (high speed train) to Nagano. There, I’ll spend March working at a hostel near the train station.

moritomizu front

This place was the perfect set for a horror movie. A building from the 1960’s, I think, that has not been renovated since its construction. Long, dark and cold corridors. Heavily stained carpets, traditional tatami rooms with outof order toilets. The only floors with running water were the first and second floor.

But as sinister as the place was, the workers (all volunteers except the owner) make my stay warm, welcoming, and unforgettable.

My days in Nagano pass by quickly. And I’m afraid my stay in Japan will rich its end without realizing. Work isn’t tough, though disorganize. I spend from 1/2 h. to 2 h. cleaning, after I have free time till I have English class, or help at the front desk. Some afternoons I’m totally free, and once a week I have a day off.

Among the many things I already knew about my self, I confirmed that I’m not made to be a teacher. Who am I kidding? I’ve never liked studying and the fact that I have to repeat over and over the same thing feels redundant and unnecessary. I suppose it doesn’t help that I have very little patience.

English conversation class.
English conversation class.

On the other hand, working here gives me the chance to meet the  most varied kind of people. I’ve even descover a new kind of human being, the “densakun”. What is a densa-kun? You ask. Well, Desnsakun is the name given for one of my coworkers to the train fanatics. Densa means train in Japanese. The hostel is located right by the train station, so at least once or twice a week we host train fanatics.

Colección de Billetes de tren de uno de los Densa-kun
Train tickets collection from one of the Densa-kun

What characterized a densakun? Like any othor proper fanatic, a densakun displays a strong obsession with the object of its fanaticism, in this case, trains.

In that way, they tend to invest all the money they can, and time to this obsession. They spend their weekends traveling by train. They know the different train models that ride the different routes, and pay particular attention to the inagural or final rides of the different train models or train lines. They take as many pictures as they can of the trains, and even collect train tickets.

Mis primeros pinitos como Densa-kun
My beginning as Densa-kun, maybe

Continuara…

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