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JR Nagano Station festooned with Olympic logos.
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Welcome sign at Nagano Station
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Nagano Station, East Exit to Olympic PlazaAt the East Exit of Nagano Station, this bridge, lined with advertising banners, led the way to the Olympic Plaza which featured ten tent pavilions made by official sponsors.
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To Olympic Plaza
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Pavilion by Kirin Brewery.Notice the "wrap" bus passing in front.
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Olympic PlazaSnowlets House and Kodak's pavilion behind it.
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Entrance to Snowlets House at Olympic Plaza.The official store for Olympic souvenirs. There were a lot of ticket scalpers (all foreigners) hanging around the entrance. Inside, there was a ticket counter for events which still had seats.
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Snowlets HouseIt was packed. This is part of the checkout line. There were four checkout lines and each one was about 30 meters long. The line went pretty fast though. They had all kinds of souvenirs: T-shirts, sweatshirts, flags, postcards, pins, key chains, necklaces, stuffed Snowlets, mugs, and even jewelry. I went on the 6th day of the Games and it still had everything well in stock. But I later heard that the shelves were laid bare well before the Games ended.
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Snowlets House, ticket availability
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Kodak's Kodak-yellow pavilionOn the day I went in, they introduced Jamaica's bobsled team. They are very popular in Japan, largely due to the comedy movie "Cool Running" which was aired in Japan before the Nagano Games started.
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Jamaica's bobsled team in Kodak PavilionThey introduced Jamaica's bobsled team. They are very popular in Japan, largely due to the comedy movie "Cool Running" which was aired in Japan before the Nagano Games started.
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Kita Nagano StationTo get to Aqua Wing, the ice hockey rink, we had to take a local train from Nagano Station for a short ride to the next stop at Kita Nagano Station. This Kita Nagano Station was a tiny little train station certainly not meant for large crowds. It was unbelievably small. It took some minutes before we could get out of the station which was not much larger than a normal living room. The door was also small, enough for only two people to get out at one time.
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Aqua Wing ice hockey rink
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Aqua Wing
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Aqua Wing ice hockey rinkMost of the women's ice hockey matches were held at a stadium called Aqua Wing which is actually an indoor swimming pool with a sliding roof. It seemed like we were in a huge oil drum cut in half.
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My Japanese and American flagsI tacked the flags onto the glass and proudly displayed them in front of my seat behind the goal. That's what you do when you love both countries. Since I was sitting at rinkside behind the goal, the flags (and my face and camera) could be seen on the TV broadcast.

On the left of the photo, you can see the goal referee who was sitting in a glass box. She wrapped herself in a blanket. As you can expect, the place was not warm like a coffee shop.
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Cheering section for Yuiko SatomiCollege cheering section for Yuiko Satomi, a defense player for Japan.
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The crowd behind me.
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Start of game
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The Nippon team huddles.The Nippon team huddle and psych themselves up before the start of the game.
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Banging the glassI liked it when the puck slammed into the glass (BOOM!) in front of me. The protective glass, by the way, must have been at least an inch thick.
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A US player scores and celebrates to the dismay of Japan.
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A US player scores and celebrates to the dismay of Japan.
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A US player scores and celebrates to the dismay of Japan.
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5-0 on scoreboard during 1st period.In the 1st period, the scoreboard shows 5-0 in favor of the US.
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Resurfacing the ice during intermission
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Resurfacing the ice during intermission
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Nagano Winter Olympics women's ice hockey match.
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Frenzy in front of Japan's goal.
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Face to face. Japan's goal keeper was busy, busy, busy.
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Japan's goalie takes a break at Nagano Winter Olympics women's ice hockey match.Her helmet is dotted with Print Club photo stickers.
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Nagano Winter Olympics women's ice hockey match.
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Japan team mates try to comfort the goal keeper right after the US scores.
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Game ends with USA scoring 10 goals and Japan zero.The final score was 10-0. Japan went on to lose all five of their matches and the US team went undefeated for the gold medal. The US and Canadian men's hockey teams were not the only ones who were put to shame at Nagano.

Japan's women's ice hockey team must feel pretty rotten about their pitiful playing on their home turf.
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Total winners beat the total losers...The U.S. team went on undefeated to win the first Olympic gold medal in women's ice hockey. Japan lost all five of its matches (they scored a total of 2 goals) putting them in last place among the six women's hockey teams.
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Olympics auction hosted by Emi Watanabe (left), a former Olympic figure skater.
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Kids gathered at Nagano Station.
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IBM billboard busesThe decals covering the window portion of the decals have little holes in them and from the inside of the bus, the decals are transparent. IBM's Olympic pins and jacket were also based on these bus decal designs.
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More billboard busesCoca-cola adorned some of the local city buses in Nagano.
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The road from Nagano Station to Zenkoji Temple.Lots of Olympics advertising.
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Local busThis was not a "wrap" bus, but it still had a Kirin ad (made of cloth) on the front.
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Souvenir shop"Japanese dress Kimono and so on." Awkward or mistaken English is nothing new in Japan. They should've used a Japanese-flag motif instead.
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Pin sellerThis American woman was selling pins in Nagano at her seventh Olympics. Olympic pins proved to be very popular among the Japanese.

Apparently there are pin sellers who travel to all the Olympics and major sports events making a living as a pin vendor.
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IBM pins (my collection)The IBM pins were being sold for 1,000 yen each. Some people were selling them for up to 2,000 yen.
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"Official No. 1 Pin Club" ShopShop selling Olympic pins. Prices ranged from 500 yen to 4,000 yen.
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Fruit gelato standFruit gelato storefront with national flags and "Welcome to Nagano" signs.
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PolicemanPoliceman in special uniform designed just for the Nagano Games. The uniform supposed to make them look more friendly.
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Recycle bins by Coca-cola
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Tokyo Station Olympics souvenir shopThis little space (operated by official sponsor Mizuno) in the Yaesu underground mall at Tokyo Station used to have shelves full of Olympic souvenirs. On the day before the Olympics, I saw that they were selling towels, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, mugs, postcards, Snowlets, key chains, and other things. I visited this place again on the last day of the Olympics (when I took this photo) and found a sign saying that they had sold out of Olympics souvenirs. According to the clerk, most were sold out about a week before.They only had a single rack selling expensive framed Olympic prints. The story was the same for the Snowlets House in Nagano and the Tokyo Branch at Mitsukoshi Dept. Store in Nihonbashi. I'm glad I bought my souvenirs early on.
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English programme (1,800 yen)
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Palm-size stuffed Snowlet (official mascot)
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Key chain (1,000 yen)
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Postcard set (400 yen)
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Olympics logo on official drinksBesides Coke, Coca-Cola also makes Aquarius (sports drink) and Georgia canned coffee. The Olympics logo and "Nagano 1998" figure prominently on the limited-edition cans. On the Aquarius can, notice the image of a speed skater. On the back of the Georgia coffee can, see the image of the torch relay runner. Georgia coffee was prominently advertised during the nationwide Olympic torch relay to Nagano.
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Olympics logo on official film (not FujiFilm)Kodak was the official Olympics film in a country where 70 percent of the film market belongs to Fuji Film. It must have been sweet revenge for Kodak because Fuji Film was the official film at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Kodak has been the official film sponsor for all Olympic Games since then. It will also be the official film for the Sydney Games in the year 2000.
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Even official Olympics miso pasteWould you believe the official miso? Hanamaruki Foods of Nagano was an official supplier for the Nagano Winter Games. Miso soup must have been a staple item for breakfast (and dinner) at the Olympic Village. I found this at my local supermarket.
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Amway at Tokyo StationAmway shows the way to the Nagano Shinkansen platform for people getting off the Narita Express train which comes from Narita Airport.
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Tokyo Station
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Tokyo Station: Official postersThese were painted by Koji Kinutani and plastered everywhere in Tokyo Station. These were being sold to the public for about Y5,000.
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Yaesu underground mall: Speed skater outfits made by MizunoMizuno, an official sponsor, set up a nice Olympics exhibition in the Yaesu underground mall at Tokyo Station. There was a nice photo exhibit of past and current Winter Games and a souvenir shop as well. These three photos show part of Mizuno's exhibition.

A few speed skater outfits made by Mizuno. You may recognize the suits for China, Japan, and the USA.
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A four-man bobsled.
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An elderly couple are among a crowd of people who watched the men's hockey finals on the TV set.
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Nagano ShinkansenThe Nagano shinkansen has a duckbill snout.
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Seat backs and ad stickersThe train's seat backs had advertising stickers. When the Nagano Shinkansen reaches a terminal station (Tokyo and Nagano), the seats can turn around by itself? One thing less to do by the train's cleaning ladies.
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Ad sticker on tray table
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During the Olympics, the morning trains from Tokyo were always crowded. However, the last trains from Nagano to Tokyo were almost empty.
     
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