Sayonara japan

This morning I got up an just rekaxingly had breakfast and watched tv. Kano came over for a while as well. I got my things ready to go and started the long waiting game.

After breakfast we web outside with the neighbors daughter whom I hadn’t seen for 10 years. She was now a senior in college.

We took pictures down by the river and then went back in for me to get my stuff for my long journey home.

I caught an earlier train in typical trotter fashion and headed to ikebukuro to change trains to nippori, changing then to the skyliner direct to narita airport. Tokyo international airport isn’t even close to the city so it’s a journey in itself to get there.

While at the airport, I exchanged m left over money and had lunch.

I then mosied to the gate with no real interesting notes, but boarded and sat next to a nice couple tom sf.

Kawagoe dinner

After we met for dinner, we went to sakanaya and traditional upscale dining restaurant. When we entered we were given 5 choices of our mains. I chose the tuna carpaccio while the others chose red snapper, tuna jaw, and snapper.

Quickly our first course arrived. I don’t know what int the world we were eating but it was art. Afterthe first course a huge second course came out with our mains, miso soup, a whole crab, a rice dish, steamed gelatin like pea and carrot soup.

After this course came a sushi plate. There were about 6 nigiri so fresh they melted in your mouth.

After this as the dessert platter that had about twelve notes of various fruits, gelatins, sorbets and creams.

It was a meal fit for a king. After dinner we caught a bus and heads ban to the train station and I got my stuff packed an ready to go to the airport the next day.

Last full day :(

What a perfect last day to have in japan. The cherry blossoms have come and gone, the weather is pure warm spring. I woke up late after my evening in the cirtbwith martin, had a little breakfast, and got in the car with mama and papa to visit 古留布 a crazy little japanese antique shop that has old kimonos cultural decorations and such. 10 years ago, this same shop hand made me my yukata. They remembered me and showed me around the shop. Then, the woman said, oh! An old talk sized kimono was just given to us by the family of a man who used to perform kabuki, it will fit you perfectly! So itried it on, and it did. All the shop women were there along with mama and papa and they were all tugging pushing pulling to don it properly. They also gave me an Obi belt and taught me how to properly tie it. I’ll wear it in sf for the cherry blossom festival.

After that they brought in lunch and we all sat and charted about my trip, where I went an when I’d be back. After we thought about it, it seem like I’m on a 5 year plan. 1994 1999 2004 2009. No wonder I was going through withdrawal :)

After lunch mama went to class papa web I the library, and I went for a run along the river. I’m not that crazy of a runner but the air the sunshine, the river flowing and the crowds Of people gathered to enjoy the weather barbecuing lunch and having fun-I just wanted to run and fly.

The abikos have reserved dinner at 6 so I’m on my way now to look around kawagoe while mama and papa are there doing their own things.

I love it. I feel very lucky to have had the great fortune with both my “penpal” experience that gave me connection to two such amaZing families.


After my long walk from roppongi hills, Tokyo midtown and omotesando, I headed to meet up with martin. We met up and headed for ebisu where he suggested a garlic Italian place.

We went on and were seated in a foreigners only area to my great surprise. If I had closed my eyes we could have been in Kansas. Big fat loud. Our food came out and was oily and greasy so I was quite surprised martin had recommended it. After our meal we headed for dessert in shibuya. We found an ice cream shop after making the obligatory rounds through the streets. It was grew to see martin and catch up and look forward to seeing him in sf in July!


This morning I opted to get the free pass for all you can ride metro. I was on my to roppongi with a quick stop in shinjuku. Somewhere between exiting tv gate and entering back again, I lost my pass. So my $1 ride cost me $12 instead. Now I give up and will just keep Latin since I can risk losing yet another one. So frustrating!!!

Roppongi and martin

Today I got up and mama and I web for a walk by the yanasegawa river which is lines with cherry blossoms. We ran into an author friend of hers and spoke for a while. We continued walking an talking. It’s been so great to really have the time and talk.

After our walk we had breakfast and I headed out to Tokyo to see the new buildings up in roppongi. Since I was here last they constructed roppongi midtown, so I’ll go see what that’s like.

Day wandering tokyo

Today after breakfast I headed out and went to shinjuku to wander around the streets parks and such. I had the ayrsngest hankering for subway–one I the only places you can get a real style deli sandwich. After giving up I ended up getting a chicken sandwich from wendys :(. I bring this up because after sitting in the park enjoying people watching and the gorgeous weather, I walked back by that same wendys. What was next door? Subways. How in the world did I not see it?!?!? I as so annoyed at myself!

After lunch I continued wandering around the city looking through ships and such. I found a good rice cooker to replace the old one that mysteriously went missing after my stint in Australia. I also found an arm band strap for my iPod that I hadn’t bought yet for the gym. The accessories here or things I add to your phone camera iPods and any other electronic item is crazy. What a market!

I had to go back toward home by 5:30 to meet mama and papa for dinner. Papa also took my film from the good camera to get it developed. While it was being developed, we had a huge yakiniku feast. All sorts of meat and vegetables Cooked on a grill in front of us. After dinner we went to pick up the film and 4 rolls cost me $40. They were only rolls of 24 so I was surprised this was “good pricing” anyhow, lesson learned that I will never ever again waste effort or time with a film camera. After looking through the pictures there are only about 6 that I really liked. 6 for $40 definitely wasn’t where I needed to use money :(

When we got home their neighbor saw me and we spoke for a bit. She still ha the funny carttion voice that I remembered and their dog was still active but old looking. The little 12 year old girl is bow in he senior year of college. Yes, I feel older now.

Anyhow that evening mama and I stayed up Late talking about our lives and the past. She showed my her diaries that she keeps a daily log of events and draws pictures from them. I hope my work with the upcoming artist exhibition that I’m volunteering for at the Japanese consulate could open an opportunity for mama to come to the us to show her work. That just would be awesome. It would be a great way to thank them for everything theyve done for me.

Last few days in Tokyo.

This morning I slept late and had breakfast with mama and talked about all sorts of things mainly pertaining to her artwork. She showed me some new things she’s working on and it’s really amazing.

Today I’m off to the gardens in Shinjuku that should be in full bloom. I’ll be meeting papa back at a train station at around 6 so we can develop my pictures from my trip. I’m really hoping I got some great pictures since he let me borrow a nice film camera. I had great photo opportunities but who knows what the film will look like!

Back in saitama

I made my way back to the abikos and mama was home. After a big welcome back we had Donne together, talked about my trip Among other things. Suddenly the door bell rang and it was a package that had ice in it. When we opened it, it was a huge crab!! Since we had aost finished our meal we were thinking how we could eat it too. So she called kazitami and Kano. Kazu was at the market shopping and came straight over. Then Kano showed up. We had a big feast that continued til late. I brought mochi from Nagoya as a present so we opened that up and each had a piece. After dinner, we went To Kanos place to check out her apartment. It’s practically in the same building. We then came back home and I took a shower and went to bed.

Heading back to tokyo

My day in nagoya today mainly consisted of me putting my backpack in a coin locker and heading out fowntown to check out the main young area as shoko suggested for lunch i found a place that did grilled hamburgers so i got a cheeseburger and sat out in a park to eat.

Along my walk I came across an apple store so I used my iPhone and the skype application and called patrick in California–all for free! The connection was superb. This is definitely the way technology will need to go. Free wifi everywhere. After a walk I decided I should head back to Tokyo so it wouldn’t be so late.

I’m at the station now waiting for the bullet train back to Tokyo. My time spent with shokobwas really great an I’m glad we were able to reconnect.