It was nearly dusk by the time I got to K's House Hostel. I checked in, discovered I was the only person in the room not running in the following day's marathon, and set out on a walk around town. I found a herb garden next to a batting cage, the smell of thyme and the thwack of ball on bat, and an outdoor onsen with six different pools of slightly varying temperature including an upstairs tub from where, on a clear day, you could lie back and look out at Fuji. In the dark the best I could manage was the Family Mart sign further up the hill.
Back at the hostel, I got talking to Jas, an English teacher from Wolverhampton who'd taken up running six months previously and was now attempting his very first race. Two Swiss muesli salesmen were planning a half four breakfast and an Australian in the corner was talking loudly about some ice caves. I sipped whisky, flicked through a paper. At nine o'clock people started drifting off to bed.