Weekdays. But boys still at home….

So today is Wednesday. It’s my Dad’s birthday – Happy Birthday Dad!!

Today is exciting because this afternoon we will all visit Motomachi elementary where the boys will be enrolled. Hopefully they will start on Monday. It will all be a bit fitful as there is a school holiday around Golden Week at the start of May and then we’ll take the boys out of school in mid May to accompany the Moomins (grandparents) whilst they come and stay.

So in the meantime we have been mixing the usual home ed stuff with exploring our new area and meeting Dan for lunch. Sunday evening we planted some seeds and look forward to growing our own cucumbers, strawberries and herbs.

 

 

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Ramen. Under the egg and shredded radish are noodles. You eat the solids with chopsticks then sup up the miso broth with a ceramic spoon or straight from the bowl.

On Monday we went to a Ramen restaurant and one of Dan’s colleagues joined us.Yesterday we were en famille and we went to a cook-your-own okonomiyaki, (optimistically called Japanese pizza, but there’s no real dough and it’s mainly a cabbage frittata with barbecue sauce and mayonnaise on top). I went for seafood and the boys stuck with pork.

The meal begins with a salad, (the dressing reminded me of Little Chef prawn cocktail), and then the hot plate is activated and you cook the meat. Meanwhile you mix your bowl of stuff and add the cooked meat to the mix. Then you dump the mix onto the hotplate. Apparently it needs to be 14cm in diameter. I joked about not bringing a ruler and Dan told me that they are provided. (Of course). Then a saucepan lid goes over the top and a timer is turned. Once the time is up, the okonomiyaki is flipped and cooked for the same time. Then you get creative (or not) with the sauce.

Dan worked a little later last night so I did some research and found a ramen restaurant near Ishikawacho station and we met him and headed there for tea. It was cold and raining and I was glad I’d taken my woolly hat and warm jacket.

Tonight we’ll be having spaghetti bolognaise. Dan cooked up a big batch and froze it before coming back to the UK at Easter.

So, this is Yokohama.

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.

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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.

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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.