Tomorrow we depart for California and I wanted to write this blog to help remember special things from my trip to Tokyo. It was a terrific week and I really would love to come back to Japan and get to see even more!
Snacks: Eating in Japan is tricky because you can’t eat and walk on the street. When we got good food at the department basement or at a food stall on the street we had to wait until we found a bench. We loved to eat tangerines! Other snacks we liked were tofu samples from the department store basements. Mochi was unique here but may be an acquired taste. I loved looking at all the beautiful creations of mochi but not eating them.
Roofs: The architecture of the roofs are different from anywhere else in Asia I’ve seen. The fancy details were not just on the temples, but also on the regular buildings in town. The roofs I like had swirls on the edge of the dark grey ceramic roof tiles. The details in the corners were demons. The the shapes of the roof corners tipped up and had a knob at the end.
Baths: Going to the public bath (sento) was fun because I heard about it a lot before we went. I got to experience something that real people do and it made me feel Like I was trying something new. From the street, the small Japanese sign did not indicate public bath to me. Daddy said there wouldn’t be any English on the sign because it was not a place for tourists.
Mama and I went to the women’s side and Max and Daddy to the mens. We just got undressed and followed what the other two older women were doing because there were no instructions. I had heard about the baths and I thought it was going to be like the spa we went to in Baden-Baden with Lotta last spring. But it was much smaller and simpler. There were only 2 hot baths and rows of taps on the wall for washing. Before we were able to go to the hot pool we had to wash three million times. My feet have never been cleaner. But then we tried the hot pools and they were too hot for me, so I just dumped buckets of water on my head instead.
Fishmarket: The fish market wasn’t set up for tourists. But for people who like adventure, you could find it there. Fish wasn’t on display for photographs; rather the shop keepers were focused on keeping the fish clean and fresh. One of the things I try to do when I take pictures is to tell the story as I experience it. If the fish are in boxes, then shoot them in boxes. Sometimes I try to edit what I am shooting to make it more attractive, but in this situation I wanted to show the market as it was. It was a hard place to photograph because there were lots of carts zooming by and icy water was puddling everywhere. It was hard to get good angles and lighting. But these challenges made the shoot more exciting for me.
Kimonos: On the first night we arrived we saw a lady wearing a kimono walking on Ginza street and we followed her to get a picture. We were really excited to see someone dressed up in one. But now after being here a week, seeing men, women and children in traditional clothes is no big deal. We were really lucky to see so many children dressed in very beautiful kimonos for their November blessing day at the Meiji Shrine. Later that day we were lucky to see a traditional wedding procession with lots of people dressed up including the bride and groom walking beneath a giant red parasol. On another trip to the park we followed a group of ladies who were on an outing to admire the changing maple leaves. I think it was cool to see people wearing kimonos because the fabrics, colors, accessories, shoes, hair pieces are all amazingly detailed.
So we have been on the trip now for 46 days. Not everyday has been wonderful and exciting, Its hard traveling. I miss my bed and my friends and getting to cook food in our kitchen. I am looking forward to going home and preparing for Christmas. I like homeschooling because we can travel. I l know that I am really lucky to have such amazing experiences around the world.