Well I've been slow writing as I have been doing a lot of train travel over the past three days. I have taken in Kyoto, Fujikyu and Matsumoto. That's a lot of train riding but it has made my Japan Rail pass pay for itself. (If you ever visit Japan and want to to take in more than just Tokyo, it is a worthy investment.)
Alpine Japan is a very pretty place even it's pouring rain, Nagano prefecture in particular has some amazing vistas. I have bookmarked to see more of Kyoto (I only had a few hours which was taken up looking at the Imperial Palace) and a visit to Kofu next time I have chance to visit.
I inevidiably try local fast food when away, In particular I try Pizza and McDonalds at some stage. Why you ask? Well McDonalds is almost always going to be similar, the variations tell you about the local culture; for example in Montreal I ordered just fries and was instantly assumed to be ordering a Poutine. In Japan you can get seaweed shake for your Fries and they do a Burger based in the popular Hamberg steaks they eat here. Pizza is the opposite, everyone does it different. Japan does odd things to European food, and Pizza seems to be no exception. Chain pizza stores serve up Pizza very much like North American Pizza chains, but I have seen pizza advertised with raw egg, shabu shabu style steak and heavily sauce covered mince.
But finally I leave you with this, two giant gold cats from Fujikyu highlands amusement park.