My memories of Japan will all be graced with images of trees covered in pink and white cherry blossoms, sakura in Japanese. We were so lucky to visit at this time and in a year when the blossoms are remarkably pretty and long-lasting.
Our first few days in Tokyo, Continue reading Sakura – cherry blossom season
In Japan, the konbini is omnipresent. On this trip, it provided us with meals, beer and snacks. If we’d needed, we could have gotten wine, umbrellas, lottery tickets, cigarettes, a white dress shirt or tooth paste. Manga porn is on offer along with all the other magazines. It’s also where we discovered the strawberry and whipped cream sandwich – which we didn’t try. We relied on it for our travel-sustaining coffee.
The konbini is a convenience store on steroids, the ultimate multi-service store. Continue reading The Konbini – your ally in Japan
Last night, Ken and I went out to supper with a few of Max’s English teacher friends. One of them, Lilly, asked me what I would like to take home to Canada from Japan – either an object or a concept. What a great question. After thinking over my answer, I chose this: how the Japanese handle the trash they generate while away from home. Continue reading It’s different in Japan…
I wonder how well-known the city of Nara is amongst those planning a visit to Japan. I first heard about it following Max’s trip here in 2008. He had delightful stories about feeding the Sika deer that roam freely through Nara Park. He told us it was a must-see during our trip. We didn’t need much convincing. Continue reading Deer, deer, in Nara
Sometimes, luck yields the best experiences. On our first night in Hiroshima, we looked for a restaurant by walking along the main street near our rented house in a residential neighbourhood. Several blocks from home, I looked through the window of a small narrow restaurant and made eye contact with the chef, to the surprise of both of us. The place looked inviting but we walked a few more blocks before deciding to go back and have supper there. Continue reading Finding the best restaurant in Hiroshima
I really enjoyed Hiroshima. It’s a friendly, active town, although it’s a city of over a million people. Most tourists come here on a sort of pilgrimage to the site where an atomic bomb was used for the first time against humankind on August 6, 1945.
That’s the reason we came, too. Patrick, Ken and I spent the better part of a day exploring Peace Memorial Park. Continue reading Hiroshima
If you find yourself in Tokyo in the company of geeks, you’ll wind up in Akihabara. Our sons, Max and Patrick, and Max’s partner Aubrie are geeks. Going to Akihabara was a no-brainer. Of course, Mom knows her sons and daughter-in-law. I had booked an apartment just a short walk from this geek’s Mecca. Continue reading Akihabara – Electric Town
When I learned that Tokyo has 37 million inhabitants making it the largest city in the world, I began to wonder how people get to work on time. 37 million people, that’s equal to all of Canada. The simple answer is public transit but nothing about Tokyo’s public transit is simple. Continue reading Tokyo’s baffling transit system
Yup, only 4 ½ weeks after our last trip, Ken and I are in Japan. We are here to discover a new country and to visit with our son, Max, who has been here for more than a year teaching English as a second language in a city on the west coast. After our long flight from Ottawa via Toronto, we landed in the early evening at Haneda airport, one of two airports serving Tokyo.
All we had left to do was to find our accommodations for the coming week, an apartment near the Akihabara neighbourhood. Continue reading Hello from Tokyo, Japan
What could be better than sitting on a spectacular, internationally-renowned beach watching some of the best surfers in the world compete right in front of our eyes? It was like watching magicians of the waves performing just for us. They are so at ease in the water. I didn’t get close enough to see if they’ve got webbed feet, but they might… Continue reading Pro surfing as a spectator sport