Japan 2014 post 4

October fifth
Today I travelled to Tokyo. Our amazing neighbour neighbour Eriko had invited me yesterday to come with her to Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s most famous neighbourhoods. Of course I said yes. Where we live is sort of a suburb/bedroom community of Tokyo. It’s a smaller city that was swallowed up if you will. Anyways, where we were going was about an hours train ride.
I got up early this morning so that I was ready to meet Eriko at nine. Her husband dropped us off at Musashi Uruwa, and we took the train to Shinjuku station. It was raining, but that was alright because it was only a short walk, and mostly under the cover of roofs and overhangs, to the mall we were going to. Eriko had a meeting with someone for a few hours, so I explored Tokyu Hands. It’s a very cool, very interesting multilevel department store. It was a lot of fun just to walk around inside and check stuff out. Tokyu Hands had tons of stuff! From stationary to kitchenware, from lumber to pillows. I think my favourite floors were the furniture floor, stationary floor, and hobby goods floor. I really wanted to buy a hunk of wood but I restrained myself. They had really nice, fairly cheap wood, but I didn’t think it would fit in my suitcase. Corkboard was another thing I resisted. Instead I bought a pencil pen, and notebook of graph paper. While I was in the furniture department, I was able to ask a salesmen abou the price of something, and understand his response too. I didn’t have as much luck in the clothing department though. Maybe it was because I hadn’t actually been asking a question, just looking at something, and thus hadn’t been expecting and answer or listening for specific words.
Eriko and I met on the thirteenth floor once her meeting was finished, and went for lunch together. We went to a Tempura place. It was SUPER delicious. We had a variety of dishes, including shrimp, vegetables, mushrooms, rice, and fish, all fried in batter. There was also a broth with small shell fish at the bottom.
I decided to try a blueberry drink. It tasted like sweetened and carbonated blueberries to me. Delicious. For dessert I had tempura ice cream, which was as tasty as it sounded. I’ve never had deep fried ice cream before, but I imagine it’s similar to Tempura ice cream.
After the meal we went to a huge multilevel bookstore. There was so much to look at! I ended up buying two books, and wanted to get a third but Eriko said I could probably get it from the library.
The trip was great, although communication was challenging at times. Eriko doesn’t speak English very often, and though she knows a lot of words, she sometimes has trouble making sentences. I was similar with my Japanese. I had trouble understanding a lot of what she was saying in Japanese, but once we figured it out, sometimes using a translator on her phone, I could often respond on Japanese. I was very impressed with how much English she could read and write though, especially for not using English very often.
After we got home, I played with the kids for a little while before going to one of Catherine’s lessons. It was an adult lesson, so she had me do a bit of a presentation about my life back in Canada. I was also able to show some pictures, and I think the students found it very interesting.
It was kind of odd, because the students and I, although technically speaking the same language had very different vocabularies. Sometimes I would say something (I said something about calves for instance) and then Catherine would have to repeat it using slightly different words or phrases (baby cows).Before the lesson, Mr and Mrs Kozakai and I were able to talk a little bit using a mixture of Japanese and English too.
Yatchan got home from Chile and Mexico today, and it was good to see him.
We had a kind of taco salad for supper, except with rice instead of corn chips. Catherine and I talked about emergency preparations over dishes. We mostly talked about earthquake stuff, but I also asked about typhoons, sonce there I one coming tomorrow. I’m a bit worried about it, but I’m sure we’ll be ok.

Christopher image


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ecosophian on October 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Yikes!!! How has the typhoon experience been???


  2. Posted by jacquee on October 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Every time you talk about food, MY MOUTH DROOLS!!
    I was worried about earthquakes! Now I have to think about typhoons!! Do you live close to the ocean? I will keep you all safe in a protective bubble in my minds eye.


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