It was warm – atsui. 暑
I was super excited and super lucky to head to Tokyo all by myself to meet an old pal for lunch. He was here on business and was flying out Saturday afternoon so we met in the morning. I caught the train to Tokyo and gave myself far too much time. I keep thinking that the journey will go wrong; that the train will be late or I will get lost but so far so good.
I read my book on the train and it was a sad bit so I welled up. Unfortunately I needed to blow my nose, which is another no-no in Japan, so I sniffled and snuffled all the way to my station.
I had a crappy coffee at the station and then went to find a loo. Google maps showed me to a public toilet so I went exploring and was very proud of myself when I used my first squat toilet. Go me!
I met Richard and we went for a wander around the Imperial Palace after securing his luggage at the station. The azaleas were out and were really stunning. We were able to hear and see (a little) of the Imperial Guards practising their kendo.
Then we made our way to the Marunouchi Building and the 35th floor which had plenty of restaurants to choose from. We had a delightful sushi lunch which included sakura ice cream (cherry blossom).
The sun still shone on Sunday and we headed into Yokohama after lunch to go and see ‘Ready Player One’ at the IMAX. Our friend, Keir, had recommended this book to Oliver back in November at the King family Fireworks Extravaganza, and since then he’s read it at least twice. He’d wanted to see it in the UK but I’d persuaded him to wait and watch it with Dad in 3D at the IMAX.
It was epic. (Despite me fretting that I’d left the iron on).
After the film we wandered around Rinko Park to the Bay Quarter Shopping Mall and had a burger tea.
A great end to our first week in Japan.
It’s Friday! My lovely Egremont Bookclub gals will be meeting later. Boo. But I am creating another bookclub in Yokohama. Woot.
Yesterday we returned school paperwork to the Naka Ward Office. It’s great. There’s a bit of waiting around, but the job is done there and then. Really efficient. Copeland could learn a lot. But then they’d need to employ more staff and there is no money……*sighs*. You get a number and two corresponding slips of paper and are eventually called to the desk. One slip of paper goes off into the office with the paperwork to be sorted and you keep the other to be reunited at the end of the job. So good. We then went to a Family mart and bought some picnic items including for me and George inarizushi, which is a pocket of tofu with sweetened rice inside. Oliver went for sausage and chips!
We ate these in a charming park near the Baystars’ stadium (the local baseball team). There were loads of tulips, they were so beautiful and dotted around the place were lots of artists practising their watercolours.
After this we learned about useful buses and bus stops and the limits of Google maps. But after a prolonged wait at the wrong bus-stop we found the right bus and headed to the Aeon department store to attempt the school shop.
I’ve been worrying about this for months. The list of items seemed scary and odd, but what Motomachi Primary school are asking for isn’t as huge as other lists I’ve seen and thankfully most of it was all on one floor. Unfortunately I ran out of cash before I finished the first shop. So we caught the bus home, had a wee rest, picked up more spondulics and headed back for another shot. Yesterday I bought:
- two pairs of indoor shoes
- white gym top and shorts for Oliver (George has been loaned some from the school)
- one disaster hood
- cleaning cloths
- face masks for serving food
- two pencil cases
- a box of pencils 2B or B
- a box of red pencils
- two skipping ropes
- two sets of: toothbrush, plastic cup, face cloth
- handkerchiefs for drying hands after using the loo
- kanji exercise books
- two communication books
- geometry set
- coloured pencils
- plastic boards to protect desk
- a bag to put gym stuff in
- a bag to put cup and toothbrush etc in
- pegs for attaching cleaning cloth to underside of desk
- plain rubbers
- pritt sticks
- AND A THERMOMETER!!
Of course I am now taking their temperatures and it is interesting to see how much it fluctuates.
Or maybe I need to get out more.
And on that note: I need to head out now to meet Dan’s colleagues for lunch. [Dan might be too busy to meet us(!)], then we are meeting a friend called Frances, from Taiwan, who is married to another of Dan’s colleagues; and tomorrow I am super excited to be meeting up with an old pal from Bournemouth. Yes!! So exciting. Very out of the blue. Cannot wait!!