Friends: We planned a short trip through Tokyo to visit our friends Elizabeth and Jeremy who have been living and working outside of Tokyo for nearly 3 years. They were fantastic tour guides and Jeremy is the only reason we located any structures by map in Tokyo. In Tokyo, there are no street signs (despite having street names) and buildings on a block are assigned an address number by the order in which it was built. This means that building #4 and #5 may be on the same side of the street, at opposite ends and 5 stories up. We had entertaining shopping experiences and culinary adventures trying hot molten octopus balls, squid jerky, outstanding sake and yummy sushi.
The smallness of the world revealed itself when we received an email from our neighbors in St. Louis (Beth and Chad) telling us that they would be in Tokyo at the exact same time. While Elizabeth worked, the rest of us met for an incredible traditional Japanese lunch (photos to prove it!) served by a beautiful Japanese Kimono wearing woman. It was great to see friends from home. Thank you Elizabeth and Jeremy!
Cherry Blossoms: When we decided to visit Elizabeth and Jeremy, I hoped that we could time it with the famous cherry blossoms in Japan. It could not have worked out more perfectly! The blossoms peaked while we were there and I took endless photos of them. If you are not interested in cherry blossoms, just scan the photos!
Gai Gin Card: Pronounced “guy-jean,” meaning foreigner, was a card we played frequently while in Japan. Not bowing at the appropriate times, not being able to speak the language (or read the signs), and jay walking are just a few times that our card came into play. Thankfully we were not expected to know the many unspoken rules and customs in the Japanese culture and they looked the other way when we violated them.
Kanpai to friends!