Excerpted from the Diary from Asia, December 9, 2006 -- Kyoto, Japan

... yesterday we had a very pleasant but exhausting day going to the city of Marugami on the island of Shikoku ... we found some quaint little streets with charming Japanese homes and several temples. While we were on one of those streets trying to decide what to do, two giggling students came out of their school and approached us. They were in their first year of high school, and we were the first foreigners they'd seen! They offered to help us find the castle. When I asked (with Stephan interpreting -- they didn't understand English), they said their teacher didn't know they were with us. They guided us for a few blocks, we took some photos of them, natch, and then they ran back, saying they were cold (they didn't bring their coats, just had their school uniform of pleated dark blue skirts, knee socks, white blouse and little red ties and a dark blue blazer)

Students from the Shikoku high school (behind them) offer assistance to find castle - we are the first foreigners they've met.

It seems that everyone in Japan has her own cell phone.

Checking the dictionary to communicate...

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