Sunday, April 21, 2013


So as I figured, this week was quite an adventure.  We began with our senior's conference at the mission home on Monday afternoon.  There were 22 of us seniors there including the stake president and mission president and wives:

It was fun to see everyone since we NEVER get to see all of the senior missionaries as they are scattered all over the mission.  That night we had a "talent" family home evening.  It was a fun time and I was reminded that you are never too old to develop a talent.  Elder Oyama learned to play the sax four years ago!:

Also I had to show this photo of a "homemade" basketball hoop near the mission home:

Mount Fuji

So on Tuesday around noon we were off to Tokyo with a short Costco stop.  We got there around 8:00 p.m. and met up with Eric and Laura and family!  From there it was fun, fun, fun.  On Wednesday morning we headed for Mt. Fuji an hour and a half away.  This was our first view (a little foggy but still spectacular):

We went to a "music box" museum which was quite fun.  Here are Trey and Ramona at the entrance:

There were all kinds of music boxes including this HUGE one that took up the whole wall and had moving parts to it.  We got to watch a short demonstration:


There were all sorts of music boxes in different buildings and shops with every imaginable music box (like who would have thought of a music box banana or watermelon?!).  And Ramona even got to try being a music grinder:

We stayed overnight in a "hostel" type hotel in Kawaguchiko.   The hotel included a public bath and we also ate a traditional Japanese breakfast.  And we slept on the floor on futon mats.   It was from the hotel that we could take these spectacular photos the next day when it was clear:

From there we went up to "Fifth Station" which is the highest you can go on a road to Mt. Fuji until you have to start climbing on your own.  We didn't realize that it was the OPENING DAY of fifth station for the year so when we got to the bottom of where you go up this is what we saw:

There was a line-up of cars and we had to wait for 45 minutes for the road to open!  But it was worth it.  There were also news reporters, lots of buses and cars all over.  When we got to the top (about 20 minutes later) it looked like this looking up:

And like this looking down:

And us enjoying ourselves:

And the trail up Mt. Fuji which was not open because it was still iced over:

In one of the souvenir shops there was this sign at the restrooms:

They wanted $1 to use the restroom!  But when we told Trey that children were free he happily headed in.  We went to the information building next door where there was no charge (and was very nice!).

From there we headed back to Tokyo.  In the evening we went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to the city view area on the 45th floor:

It had views all the way around the inside of the building and was really wonderful.


On Friday morning we headed for Odaiba--a part of of Tokyo that Laura and Eric had heard good things about.  We got there before things really opened but it gave us a good chance to explore:

It was unlike most of Tokyo because it was so spacious and modern.

You might think we were in New York City:

And of course we had to take this picture of Trey and his new friend:

We rode this ferris wheel which is actually a slow-moving view of the city:

And we went to a Toyota building that had tons of Toyotas (of course) that you could get into, simulators, and test driving (Calvin and Trey went drove a sports car).  They even had some mini cars for the kids.  And maybe we should get something like this when we get back home:

or not . . . .

We ate at a place where you cook your own food in front of you on small hotplates and let the kids play in the Lego store.


Saturday was the long-awaited wedding!  Marie and Kazuya got married!  It was a fun and happy time:

I will post MUCH MORE next week about this since the reception is this Wednesday.  But it was worth the wait and drive to be there. 

We drove back to Ishinomaki after eating at our favorite Indian curry restaurant and saying goodby to Eric, Laura and the kids.  It was such a quick trip that we all wished that we had planned for a few more days.

Back to Reality

So back to Ishinomaki by about 7:00 p.m.  And church today which featured this view of the outside:

Yes, it snowed for three hours straight!  But like most spring storms it has already melted but was quite cold today.

And after Church, the whole branch was getting ready for the upcoming reception:

Can you believe it?!  They took DOWN the drapes.  I think in America you put UP drapes for a reception!  Oh well, to be continued next week!

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