My bed, a thin but deceivingly comfortable piece of foam, came in yesterday, and I feel much less bruised today. It fits well in a corner of my room.

I decided to explore the walking/biking path along the Arakawa river near my house yesterday. Like all of Tokyo, it is intense, with one baseball diamond after another and numbers of young (but extremely talented) baseball players cheered on from the edges of the path. As a biking/walking path, it is not good for high-speed cycling at the point I visited, but I imagine it gets better further along. There were quite a few high-perfomance bikes on the trail, and I could taste the envy I felt for their owners. I could really use a good 20-mile ride right now (though I might die in the heat and humidity).

I followed a 3 mile portion of the path, first on the far side, and then on the near. The near side has the disadvantage of being right next to a highway, but might be better for it, as there are fewer pedestrians. Depends on what you want, and, of course, on what is further along.

It seems the Arakawa river was once a wetland/swamp area, and there are some stretches where the native(?) plants are allowed to run wild. I found a couple of kittens tucked away in some of the grasses, following with their tiny eyes the pigeons nearby. Unfortunately, I took too long to get my camera out, and they hid behind their mother. I took a picture anyway, to show what the area looks like. Back where the mother is looking, there are piles of trash, presumeably from well-meaning passersby who feed the cats.

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One cool thing I have not seen elsewhere was this obstacle track for wheelchair users. I was tempted to give it a try myself, and one day I might—I think it would be a great way to exercise the upper arms.

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Tomorrow is the big day—my first day of training. I'll be honest, I feel absolutely unqualified, and wouldn't be surprised if they told me to hit the door after a few hours. My attitude may change if the atmosphere is supportive.

For today, I'm just going to take it easy and run over to Kitasenju and pick up a Japanese fish cookbook. I know a little about cooking Japanese cuisine, but Japanese fish is pretty unique and I think trail and error could lead to quite a few unappetizing dishes. But I love fish, and I think it is cheaper than meat anyway. After that I'll just sit in my room and sweat.