Sunday, September 23, 2012


Wow, we have had an EVENTFUL week in Tokyo with Eric, Laura, Trey and Ramona.  We started on the overnight bus on Monday night (10:00 p.m.) and arrived in Tokyo at 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning!  The bus was fairly uneventful but we probably should have taken pictures of the inside of the bus.  The seats are all separated so there are three seats across with plenty of room inbetween.  The curtains are drawn the entire time and you are given slippers to wear!  I can't say it was super comfortable or that it was cool (air temperature) because it was basically a little stuffy like the Japanese like it but we made it!

We headed over to the temple (Church next to the temple where we were staying to be exact) and got there around 7:00 a.m.  It was our first time trying out the trains in Tokyo which are pretty insane.  The train lines go every which way and there are millions of people everywhere.

We went through a 10:00 a.m. session at the temple and explored the park across the street which was pretty amazing.  It was gorgeous and had huge fish, turtles, and a large playground.

In the afternoon we headed towards the station where Eric and Laura would be coming.  We managed to find them (barely) and then we went back to the Church where we were staying in a crowded room with three bunk beds!  At least for a couple of nights the place was pretty dead so the jet-lagged kids were not bothered by others (or a bother to others!)

Here are some pictures of our adventurous week.  First the Tsukiji Fish Market.  (tuna are on the truck bed):

Having fun at Sea Disney:

On Friday we went to Mt. Takao.  It turned out to be beautiful, interesting, and lots of fun.  We rode up in a gondola, ate our lunches in great surroundings, walked to some shrines and temples, saw a monkey park, and rode down on a chair lift.  This is us making a wish after going through a big ring and hitting these smaller rings with a big stick:

One of the "friendly" spirits that we saw:

Trey and Ramona at the monkey park:

And going down on the lift (which had no seatbelts or front rail but was only about 10 feet from the ground):

The views all over were absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately, the weather was a little misty and cloudy so photos just didn't do it justice.  We would definitely do this again.  It was such a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo!

We left on Saturday but not before we at at a great Indian curry restaurant and fed the fish at the park and played on the playground:

And the bullet train was great.  It almost took us longer to get to Tokyo station and wait for the train than it took for our entire ride back to Sendai (less than 2 hours).

And finally when we got back to Ishinomaki we were greated by these guys:

And Sunday at Church:

And Ramona showing off her new "clothepin" hairdo:

In Retrospect

We had a great time but it is always great to get home and now I KNOW why we weren't sent to Tokyo.  The big city, tons on train rides and transfers, and millions (literally) of people:  give me Ishinomaki with its narrow streets and very few people anyday!

It was a fun adventure while it lasted and now I think I am more Tokyo savvy.  The temple is always fun because we meet new people and see others that we have seen before. 

Today at Church it was so good to see people we really knew and they LOVED seeing Eric, Laura and ESPECIALLY Trey and Ramona.  Trey went to Primary with five other boys (that's the entire Primary).  When he first went in, the leaders were a little concerned and wanted to know if we wanted to come in with him.  We said, "he's fine; no thanks."  They thought we were crazy because they hardly speak English.  But ten minutes later I went back to check on him and the teacher shooed me away and said, "He's fine!"  I actually marvelled the whole week at how the kids made friends wherever they went:  the temple, sightseeing places, the park, etc.  We should all be more childlike and not let our inhibitions get in the way of having a good time or making new friends.

More Adventures This Week

Stay tuned for more adventures this week.  We were able to trade our car for a big van for the week, compliments of the AP's (assistants to the president).  Tomorrow we are headed for the onsen (public bath) with Takie and her husband.  We are pretty exhausted but hope to catch up on a little shut eye this week too!

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