Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tokyo Times

So we had our vacation day in Tokyo today. The Hirano's took us to Asakusa to see the giant gate and temple. And when I say Giant I mean Giant. Unfortunately, this is a picture at the first smaller gate. Notice the son is asleep. He slept at all the most inopportune times. For example, when I had to carry him. He did wake up for the play time at the park. There was a great climbing play structure with a slide, no pictures but there is some video which may be available some day. Our gracious hosts demonstrated superior kindness after lunch when they drove us to our next stop. It was on the other side of tokyo from their house but they took us all the way there saving us a brutal train ride and about 45 minutes. My gratitude knows no bounds.
The next stop was at the wife's Aunt's house. Here we played with the wife's cousin's kids. When I say we I mean our kids and their kids. The adults enjoyed the hospitality of the hosts. We sat around drinking beers (mostly me) and eating snacks (me again) and catching up. It has been almost five years since we had been to their house and as with the last time it felt like we were at home. After the great visit at their house we went out for sushi, at least some of us went out for sushi. The five kids went out for origami making, running around and having a blast. We ate at the local sushi-ya (sushi restaurant). It was a block down and a block over and our group arrived over the course of about 20 minutes. The kids arrived with Koichiro (the cousin's husband) first. I thought they were getting take out originally but after they had been gone about 5 minutes there was a consensus that we should be going and I got the picture. After that we walked back to their house and had some fire works in the street. It is a fairly busy street but ... well its hard to explain but we did most of our playing in a little lane just off the road. Kids running around with sparklers, taking turns climbing the stop sign, playing with toy guns. It was an awesome evening and no one wanted us to go, us included. We all walked to the station together and amid some tears we made our farewells and promises to see each other soon. I sure hope we are able to keep them.

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