I had somehow managed to convince Yuko that what she really wanted to do at half past seven on a Sunday morning was to get up, drive me down to Sawako, and then wait for me whilst I did a lap of the lake. The weather was beautiful; it was one of those perfect Japanese winter days, and the scenery genuinely jaw-dropping, meaning that I was able to cover the 16km in a constant state of bliss. Yuko was waiting for me in an outside foot-spa, and I treated us both to a nearby Onsen as a thank you for her diligence, and for my sheer bloody mindedness; having packed my jogging gear and carried it through rush hour on Friday night, I was hardly not going to use it.
For lunch, Yuko’s mum took us out to a famous Katsudon (a bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet) restaurant, where large, medium, and small portions were ordered for me, Yuko, and Yuko’s mum respectively. I first began to suspect that I might be entering dangerous waters when the small portion was brought out, as it was, by all accounts, massive. When my lunch was finally laid in front of me I started to panic, as there was clearly no way that I could put away what amounted to about 2kg of meat! Sure enough, by the time I was about 2/3 of the way through my dinner I was lagging, at which point I devised a new strategy, and started trying to convince myself that ever bite was my first. I eventually finished the monster, although it turns out that eating that much meat and rice shortly before a 3-hour bus ride (back to Tokyo) is not the best of ideas.