Yesterday morning we landed in Japan at Haneda airport in south Tokyo. At immigration we received our residents’ cards and we took our fifteen bags to the coach stop and caught a limousine coach into Yokohama. The boys were knackered, (despite my best efforts they did NOT sleep on the plane), and G zonked our right away. Twenty five minutes later we unload the coach and pile into two taxis to get to our house. Yes house! The sun is shining, the weather is warm and the taxi driver checks with me before putting on the air con.
We dumped the bags and walked through Chinatown to get to the Naka ward office where we spent a couple of hours minding a sparked-out George whilst applying for our Health Insurance cards, school places and family allowance. (I know!) We had lunch in some small Chinese place and then walked home. The Sakura (cherry blossom) has pretty much gone now here, but we did see some floating down the local river.
We live at the top of a hill. Outside our house is a flight of steps down to a shopping area which has loads of cafes, salons, grocers and even a shop specialising in honey. At the top of the hill is an historical house called ‘Home of a Diplomat’ which has sumptuous gardens that are free to explore.
Today we caught the train into Yokohama central (two stops on the Negishi line) and bought some boxes for storing clothes in and other essentials. There was a craft market happening by the quayside which we looked around. The quality varied. I did buy some earrings from a lovely lady who spoke English and made things from sea glass.
We had lunch in a British pub. I felt really quite pissed after my pint. Then this afternoon we finished unpacking and braved the drizzle to explore the area at the top of the hill. Mainly the boys’ school. Well, it’s huge and modern and it’s a lovely 10 minute walk through Yamate gardens.
From here, once you descend the hill again there are even more lovely bakeries, cafes, flower shops and boutiques to explore.
Tonight we had Dan’s spag bol and I had my first Japanese bath. You shower first, then soak. It was heavenly.
Tomorrow we are thinking of going to Kamakura on the train.
I am so happy to be here. It’s quite the antidote to all the mini-catastrophes at home.