Japan 2020 / 2021 snow season planning

skichanger

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So we made the heartbreaking decision to move our January flights and accommodations to end of March. Luckily it hasn't cost us anything so far, but man it's a blow.
At that time the snow is still better than Aus. There is usually a good base and sometimes you can be lucky with fresh falls.
 

LMB

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End of March... 2021?

:confused:
Was my thought also.

I half considered keeping my place blocked out for March but really? If the speed of change is such that we can go in March we will just be ready to roll and make instant bookings.

The reality I am afraid is everything is moving so much slower than that.
 

LMB

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Yes. 21. Still holding out hope. The free travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong opens on the 22nd of November!
Ahhh that’s right you’re not locked in Aus :thumbs:
Lucky bugger!
 
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smackies

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Aha! Well enjoy!

My buddy reckons she’s off to Japan for the winter with some visa and sponsorship wrangling. If she pulls it off, I’ll be well impressed.
 
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Sandy

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I’m optimistic that the lucky people already in Niseko or able to somehow wangle themselves a sponsored visa to go will have an epic season....

I finally released the owner hold on Jan/Feb/March/April that I had on my apartments booking dates. Resigned myself to the fact that even if Japan decides to let us in Australia isn’t about to let us out.
My understanding is that if you can get into Japan they will let you out.
I guess you mean that if Japan will let you in, Australia will let you out?

Because for Japan, you can leave any time you like. Whether you'll be let into another country is the issue. For example, some countries require a COVID test before you leave Japan. This may be an issue in some areas of Japan, but for me, I would only have to walk 100m to my doctor's surgery to get a PCR test.
So BEFORE leaving Australia for Japan, you need to determine if you can get a PCR or antigen test before leaving Japan. (...if you can and where. For example, I KNOW they've opened up clinics for tests in Tokyo, so you could fly to Tokyo, get the tests and stay a couple of nights, before returning to Australia)
 
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LMB

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I guess you mean that if Japan will let you in, Australia will let you out?

Because for Japan, you can leave any time you like. Whether you'll be let into another country is the issue. For example, some countries require a COVID test before you leave Japan. This may be an issue in some areas of Japan, but for me, I would only have to walk 100m to my doctor's surgery to get a PCR test.
So BEFORE leaving Australia for Japan, you need to determine if you can get a PCR or antigen test before leaving Japan. (...if you can and where. For example, I KNOW they've opened up clinics for tests in Tokyo, so you could fly to Tokyo, get the tests and stay a couple of nights, before returning to Australia)
I expect as time goes on and these expectations are standard for travel then there will be places to go and they will be made clear.

Perhaps within 72hrs of a booked flight, producing ticket and passport as proof you can rock up for drive in Covid test in Aus (wouldn’t want to queue up with the symptomatic!!). I’m sure they’ll work all that out.
 
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Jacksong

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Every single person entering Japan has to have a test before departing on their flight, and another on entry.

People flying from Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and a couple of others do not need to take a test.

"*Any non-Japanese arriving into Japan NO LONGER need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to leaving New Zealand."

https://www.nz.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/corona_vrs.html


Also, Japanese only need a test upon arrival right?
 

TJ

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Covid numbers are rising here again. 3rd wave coming up. Usually the biggest wave of the set.
Sapporo, Tokyo and Osaka on the rise again. This could be interesting. I'm in my own little bubble here but the general feeling I get for Japan is quite relaxed. Maybe a little too much. I was hoping for some travel bubbles for HK and Sing but with a new wave it is looking unlikely. Anyone for some spring turns and cherry blossums :)
 
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Sandy

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People flying from Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and a couple of others do not need to take a test.

"*Any non-Japanese arriving into Japan NO LONGER need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to leaving New Zealand."

https://www.nz.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/corona_vrs.html


Also, Japanese only need a test upon arrival right?
From the mofa.go.jp page:

On October 30, the Government of Japan (GOJ) decided to remove the 8 countries and a region below from the list of countries and regions which entry ban is applied to in pursuant to the Article 5, Paragraph (1), Term (xiv) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. The GOJ also decided to newly add the 2 countries below to the list. Please see the following list for the countries and regions which the entry ban is currently applied to. Foreign nationals who have stayed in these countries within 14 days prior to the application for landing will be denied landing into Japan. The measure is effective from 00:00 am (JST) on November 1.

Removed from the following list

Australia, Brunei, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(1) All nationals arriving from the countries and regions listed in paragraph 1 above within 14 days prior to their application for landing into Japan are subject to conducting of COVID-19 tests for the time being

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html
 

Annabuzzy

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From the mofa.go.jp page:

On October 30, the Government of Japan (GOJ) decided to remove the 8 countries and a region below from the list of countries and regions which entry ban is applied to in pursuant to the Article 5, Paragraph (1), Term (xiv) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. The GOJ also decided to newly add the 2 countries below to the list. Please see the following list for the countries and regions which the entry ban is currently applied to. Foreign nationals who have stayed in these countries within 14 days prior to the application for landing will be denied landing into Japan. The measure is effective from 00:00 am (JST) on November 1.

Removed from the following list

Australia, Brunei, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(1) All nationals arriving from the countries and regions listed in paragraph 1 above within 14 days prior to their application for landing into Japan are subject to conducting of COVID-19 tests for the time being

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html
Soooo...Japan will have us, maybe subject to periodic COVID tests, so it’s now ScoMo and the lack of commercial flight availability which stops me skiing?
 

Jacksong

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From the mofa.go.jp page:

On October 30, the Government of Japan (GOJ) decided to remove the 8 countries and a region below from the list of countries and regions which entry ban is applied to in pursuant to the Article 5, Paragraph (1), Term (xiv) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. The GOJ also decided to newly add the 2 countries below to the list. Please see the following list for the countries and regions which the entry ban is currently applied to. Foreign nationals who have stayed in these countries within 14 days prior to the application for landing will be denied landing into Japan. The measure is effective from 00:00 am (JST) on November 1.

Removed from the following list

Australia, Brunei, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(1) All nationals arriving from the countries and regions listed in paragraph 1 above within 14 days prior to their application for landing into Japan are subject to conducting of COVID-19 tests for the time being

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html

That link is not accurate, as people are flying in from China, Thailand, Australia etc without PCR tests.

I'm part of a 'returning to Japan' group on facebook, there are daily reports of people entering from these 8 countries without PCR tests.

Also Check the Japan embassy in Australia " Update 10/30: Foreign nationals who possess a valid residence card and re-entry permit (including special re-entry permit) and are re-entering Japan from Australia from the 1st November 2020 no longer need a Re-entry Confirmation letter and negative PCR Test certificate....

https://www.au.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/residentreentry.html
 
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Jacksong

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Soooo...Japan will have us, maybe subject to periodic COVID tests, so it’s now ScoMo and the lack of commercial flight availability which stops me skiing?

You don't need any test, but still need to do a 14 day quarantine. If you sign up to a language school, Japan will let you in, not sure if Aus will let you out.
 
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Sandy

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You don't need any test, but still need to do a 14 day quarantine. If you sign up to a language school, Japan will let you in, not sure if Aus will let you out.
As usual, the Japanese sites seem to have contradictory information.
At the moment, I have documentation for returning to Japan, have to get a test on departure (from US) and arrival in Japan, but it still looks like I don't have to do 14 day quarantine.
 
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RCN

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Jacksong

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Will that be under a Business or Working holiday visa? I'm looking up the critieria the the Japanese Embassy in Australia's website, https://www.au.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/covid19visapplicationCOE.html, and education doesnt seem to fit into either visa category.

EDIT: Here is the info on the Aus embassy page:
How can I get a Certificate of Eligibility?
A Certificate of Eligiblity (CoE, 在留資格認定証明書, zairyuushikaku nintei shoumeisho) is applied for by your sponsor in Japan (employer, school or family) on your behalf. For more details see the Ministry of Justice page on Certificate of Eligibility.

I am not 100% sure, I have seen on the facebook group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/returntojapan ) Australians who are getting student visas. If you have facebook and are serious about applying, that page is very good for any questions you may have. Here is a screenshot as an example.

Screen Shot 2020-11-11 at 6.55.26 PM.png

Another example below:

Screen Shot 2020-11-11 at 7.12.20 PM.png
 
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Jacksong

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As usual, the Japanese sites seem to have contradictory information.
At the moment, I have documentation for returning to Japan, have to get a test on departure (from US) and arrival in Japan, but it still looks like I don't have to do 14 day quarantine.

Yes, I have seen people from these 8 countries getting PCR tests anyway to be safe, but nobody checks them.

What happened regarding the 14 day quarantine? Did you attempt to apply for an exemption or will you do that on arrival?

I am curious as I have a lot to do when I arrive as my arrival date has been delayed.

I also need to do a test at both ends.
 

Sandy

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Yes, I have seen people from these 8 countries getting PCR tests anyway to be safe, but nobody checks them.

What happened regarding the 14 day quarantine? Did you attempt to apply for an exemption or will you do that on arrival?

I am curious as I have a lot to do when I arrive as my arrival date has been delayed.

I also need to do a test at both ends.
Apparently, you only need to provide an itinerary for 14 days after you arrive, so I've already done that.... we'll see if it works. (hand to immigration on arrival)
 

Jacksong

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Apparently, you only need to provide an itinerary for 14 days after you arrive, so I've already done that.... we'll see if it works. (hand to immigration on arrival)

I read that the itinerary should be simple such as going to work and coming home. I imagine visiting government offices, banks etc will not be accepted as part of the itinerary? Do you happen to have a link to info regarding this? Thank you!
 

skichanger

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People flying from Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and a couple of others do not need to take a test.

"*Any non-Japanese arriving into Japan NO LONGER need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to leaving New Zealand."

https://www.nz.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/corona_vrs.html


Also, Japanese only need a test upon arrival right?
Oh wow. I need to check the Aus bit but it would make it easier for me. At the moment I am waiting to hear back from the embassy. My fingers are crossed. I have a plan B but if plan A works life is much easier.
 

skichanger

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Soooo...Japan will have us, maybe subject to periodic COVID tests, so it’s now ScoMo and the lack of commercial flight availability which stops me skiing?
Once Japan started letting people in it has always been ScoMo and our rules. Why would Japan let us in when we are not letting anyone travel from Japan? They are letting people in from other places because those places let Japanese in.
 

Jacksong

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Once Japan started letting people in it has always been ScoMo and our rules. Why would Japan let us in when we are not letting anyone travel from Japan? They are letting people in from other places because those places let Japanese in.

Sorry I don't understand this. Japan is letting Australians in.
 

Jacksong

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Oh wow. I need to check the Aus bit but it would make it easier for me. At the moment I am waiting to hear back from the embassy. My fingers are crossed. I have a plan B but if plan A works life is much easier.

I believe it was Sandy who mentioned a short term business visa earlier and I dismissed it as I had never heard of it, however it seems true that this is actually a thing, a short term business visa. Not sure if you have considered this.
 

Sandy

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I read that the itinerary should be simple such as going to work and coming home. I imagine visiting government offices, banks etc will not be accepted as part of the itinerary? Do you happen to have a link to info regarding this? Thank you!
I can't find an official mofa source, but here is the info from the media:
https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Japan-waives-14-day-quarantine-after-business-trips
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201030/p2g/00m/0na/114000c
 
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Lucky Pete

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Once Japan started letting people in it has always been ScoMo and our rules. Why would Japan let us in when we are not letting anyone travel from Japan? They are letting people in from other places because those places let Japanese in.

Japan are only letting those in with a valid visa. Surely you have a business investment visa? Several Australians (and others) have turned up here in the last couple weeks.
 
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skichanger

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Japan are only letting those in with a valid visa. Surely you have a business investment visa? Several Australians (and others) have turned up here in the last couple weeks.
mmm it is not that simple. And I did have a visa but I don't at the moment. A very long story. I feel a bit like a scratched record at the moment about this.
 

telenomore

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Soooo...Japan will have us, maybe subject to periodic COVID tests, so it’s now ScoMo and the lack of commercial flight availability which stops me skiing?
That is a good link from @Sandy but not yet for tourism to Japan I'm afraid. You still need a visa to enter Japan and you must do 14 days quarantine on arrival.

2. Quarantine measures
(1) All nationals arriving from the countries and regions listed in paragraph 1 above within 14 days prior to their application for landing into Japan are subject to conducting of COVID-19 tests for the time being

(2) All nationals arriving from all regions are called upon to wait 14 days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief and to refrain from using public transportation for the time being

4. Suspension of visa exemption measures
As visa exemption measures with the countries and regions listed below are temporarily suspended, those who fall under the measures are required to obtain visas before visiting Japan. Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan have been newly added to the list (1) and (2) below. The measures will be in place for the time being.
 

telenomore

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I saw a post on FB that the cost of the PCR test in Japan is approx, 35000 yen.
Is this correct?
Had a close call with a PCR test today (family member). Cost ¥3,000 at the local hospital. We do have local insurance though so that plays into it. The new testing regime at Narita though, is at least that if not more expensive.
 

telenomore

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Not looking good. 230 today in Hokkaido and spread over the island, although most in Sapporo.
Covid numbers are rising here again. 3rd wave coming up. Usually the biggest wave of the set.
Sapporo, Tokyo and Osaka on the rise again. This could be interesting. I'm in my own little bubble here but the general feeling I get for Japan is quite relaxed. Maybe a little too much. I was hoping for some travel bubbles for HK and Sing but with a new wave it is looking unlikely. Anyone for some spring turns and cherry blossums :)
 

telenomore

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I wonder how this will effect ski resorts operating?
Hot on our home list of discussion topics. Weighing up whether to get a season pass and whether the resorts will operate and if so, at what level. Currently wait and see before we spend as case numbers are really going up here in Hokkaido. I noted on the news today that Sapporo Kokusai are opening one lift this weekend and the news item was about their covid policy, which is the same as it has been generally in Japan, social distancing, hand washing, masks, limited numbers etc. The problem as I see it is the big gondolas packed with people. That just cant happen IMO. Waiting for a PCR test result due tomorrow morning doesn't really help the mood either.
 

Sandy

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Had a close call with a PCR test today (family member). Cost ¥3,000 at the local hospital. We do have local insurance though so that plays into it. The new testing regime at Narita though, is at least that if not more expensive.
Tests at Narita Airport (incoming) are not PCR test, they are rapid antigen tests, which are cheap (like 500 yen).
The incoming mandatory test at Narita, Haneda & Kansai airports are FREE.
 
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Sandy

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Hot on our home list of discussion topics. Weighing up whether to get a season pass and whether the resorts will operate and if so, at what level. Currently wait and see before we spend as case numbers are really going up here in Hokkaido. I noted on the news today that Sapporo Kokusai are opening one lift this weekend and the news item was about their covid policy, which is the same as it has been generally in Japan, social distancing, hand washing, masks, limited numbers etc. The problem as I see it is the big gondolas packed with people. That just cant happen IMO. Waiting for a PCR test result due tomorrow morning doesn't really help the mood either.
At Shiga Kogen last season, they limited gondolas to half capacity, and had the windows open.
 
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Jacksong

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At Shiga Kogen last season, they limited gondolas to half capacity, and had the windows open.

It's a good opportunity for ski resorts to remove gondola windows for good. Some people seem to love a steamy sweaty packed gondola. Not too bad with locals, but nothing worse than being a in a gondola of hungover ski bums in clothing that has not been washed in weeks. Could catch something worse than Covid.
 
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skichanger

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It's a good opportunity for ski resorts to remove gondola windows for good. Some people seem to love a steamy sweaty packed gondola. Not too bad with locals, but nothing worse than being a in a gondola of hungover ski bums in clothing that has not been washed in weeks. Could catch something worse than Covid.
Who catches any lift with strangers in Japan? Apart from 1st thing in the morning at Suginohara, at our local resorts there is no need to catch a lift with other people. In fact more often than not the Japanese will not ride a luft with strangers.
 

Donza

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The lifts aren't the worry.
It's the food halls, restaurants and rest facilities.
I'd be interested if any ski hill in Japan employs the methods Perisher used this season...
 
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telenomore

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Who catches any lift with strangers in Japan? Apart from 1st thing in the morning at Suginohara, at our local resorts there is no need to catch a lift with other people. In fact more often than not the Japanese will not ride a luft with strangers.
100 person high speed gondolas/tramways. There are three here in central Hokkaido. The main lift at Furano, Asahi Dake and Sounkyo. Timed from 5-10 minutes apart as well so if you are in line you get on. I think they will have to limit numbers in them to 5-10 people (even 10 would not comply really) IMO to comply with social distancing but that will be a big hit to resort efficiency, particularly Furano.
 
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Jacksong

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100 person high speed gondolas/tramways. There are three here in central Hokkaido. The main lift at Furano, Asahi Dake and Sounkyo. Timed from 5-10 minutes apart as well so if you are in line you get on. I think they will have to limit numbers in them to 5-10 people (even 10 would not comply really) IMO to comply with social distancing but that will be a big hit to resort efficiency, particularly Furano.

They could make some sort of division areas inside the tramway I guess, big plastic dividers, Not sure how exactly. At least masks can be worn. Can't be worse than the subway in Tokyo.

Like others have mentioned, the restaurants are a bigger problem. Hot unventilated area, humans breathing causing condensation on the windows. Cannot eat with a mask on. Every Japanese person eating at 12pm on the dot.
 

skichanger

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100 person high speed gondolas/tramways. There are three here in central Hokkaido. The main lift at Furano, Asahi Dake and Sounkyo. Timed from 5-10 minutes apart as well so if you are in line you get on. I think they will have to limit numbers in them to 5-10 people (even 10 would not comply really) IMO to comply with social distancing but that will be a big hit to resort efficiency, particularly Furano.
3 out of how many lifts? And I can name 3 around our area as well, Ryuoo and 2 at Kagura . But those lifts are the exception.
 

skichanger

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They could make some sort of division areas inside the tramway I guess, big plastic dividers, Not sure how exactly. At least masks can be worn. Can't be worse than the subway in Tokyo.

Like others have mentioned, the restaurants are a bigger problem. Hot unventilated area, humans breathing causing condensation on the windows. Cannot eat with a mask on. Every Japanese person eating at 12pm on the dot.
And slurping noodles........ before the post lunch nap.
 
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