Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Japan 2011 Day 3: Up way too early...

It's just after 5:00 am here & we've been awake for at least an hour :(  Usually the early-morning waking starts to wear off by day 3. Ah, well. Charlie's in the shower & Brendan's doing the crossword puzzle in the International Herald Tribune, which we find outside our door every morning. It's become a ritual to do the puzzle together & I've been having fun sharing my solving techniques with him. Soon we'll eat breakfast, pictured above, an assortment of Italian pastries, Japanese wagashi treats, & fruit.

I took a couple more pictures to share before we find ourselves in uncertain internet-access territory, while we visit our friends in the south of Japan. First, another grainy picture from the window of our room:
This is the walkway to Tokyu Hands & Takashimaya, as seen from 30 stories above. It goes over the train tracks that lead to Shinjuku Station. It feels iconic to me, because it's been the pathway to so much treasure the past few days :) And as for the treasure:
This is usually a fibre & crafting blog, so I had to share my stash :D I went back to Yuzawaya yesterday after perusing the tawashi book & decided to look for the yarn that they use in the book. Ya-taa! I was able to find it pretty easily. Reading the katakana is so much easier this time & so shopping is so much less confusing & much more fun. (My husband trembles at this thought...)

The taxi will arrive at 8:15 to take us to Tokyo Station to catch our train, & I'm looking forward to eating ekiben (train station bentou) for lunch & having a relaxing trip to Kokura, where we'll meet our friend Tomoko & take the last train to our destination, Mizumaki, where her family lives. Tomoko was our first Japanese teacher & one of the highlights of our first trip to Japan 4 years ago was our stay with her family- her mom, Nobukosan; her sister & brother-in-law Keikosan & Kazehirosan; & their sons Shinkun & Daichan, who are a few years younger than Brendan. All of the boys have grown so much in the past 4 years & I'm rally looking forward to seeing them, as well as the grown-ups. Although Tomoko moved 4 years ago from our town to Minnesota, where she's working on her PhD, she spends part of New Years with us every year (we also exchange holiday gifts a couple times a year with Tomoko's family) so it feels like we're one, big extended family. I am very much looking forward to conversing with everyone, something I wasn't able to do last time because my Japanese language skills weren't up to it.

So, I'll be back as soon as I can to share our adventures in Mizumaki! 

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