Jeremiah 17: 9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Friday, December 5, 2014
Christmas in Japan
Jes and Chris at Tokyo Tower. Photo by Bobbi
was in December of 2004 that Chris and I flew from Seattle to Los Angeles and
from there to Tokyo.We were fortunate
to be able to spend Christmas with our son.He was living in a small town south of Tokyo and teaching
English as a second language.With
frequent flyer miles, and a place to stay, we thought it was a good time to
in Japan is small—especially compared to the U.S.The land area is small as it is about the size of California
and it is about 75 % mountainous.There are small people, small cars, small capsule hotels, small amounts
of food, and small apartments.
apartment was big compared to most apartments in Japan.He had two bedrooms.Outside was a vending machine where one
could purchase hot drinks. The weather was cold and clear and since Jes had
only one electric heater to heat his apartment Chris bought several more. Jes’s
car was compact but we managed to fit the three of us in it.
Jes's car. Photo by Bobbi
Photo by Bobbi
had the hum of the bullet train to go to sleep to because he lived within
walking distance of the train station.See his list below:
I’ve been in Japan a little over 10 months now. That really
isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, but here are some observations
that I’ve made. This is one of those trite “you know when…” type things, but
here it goes.
You know you’ve been in Japan for awhile when…
1.you watch movies (of course
not English or Japanese movies) and they always seem to be driving on the
“wrong” side of the road.
2.you think nothing of paying 5
dollars for 2 apples (okay you might gripe a little).
3.the roar of the shinkansen
(bullet train) tracks reminds you of the ocean. It soothes you to sleep.
4.you go shopping and even
though you don’t know the words to any of the songs (aside from the song about
fish) you instantly hmm the melody.
5.you aren’t scared of raw fish
(well too much anyway).
6.you enjoy playing “chicken”
with other drivers on so-called “2-lane” roads. I guess I should say so-called
“roads” as I know of larger sidewalks!
7.you can critique stores on
the various “elevator music” different stores use. I say, Gigas has my vote.
Definitely the best use of harmonica in that type of “music".
8.you tend to bow at everyone
and everything. It happens. Sometimes you bow just to make sure.
9.you do a better recycling job
than some of your neighbors.
10.life starts to seem normal.
Bullet train. Photo by Bobbi
town was all paved so it was great for cycling.Here is a view of the City Hall.In his town many people were middle class and worked for the
City Hall. Photo by Bobbi
that American schools should consider is what they do about cleaning the
schools. In Japan they have the children and the teachers clean, including scraping the wheels
on desk chairs to be sure there is no sticky gum on the them. If children were
responsible for cleaning I would think that they would have more respect for
announce important things like elections are coming, or someone has had a baby.
They most likely will choose
6 am for the announcements so everyone is at home, in bed asleep, and won’t
miss the announcement!
was privileged to act as the recycling police a few times in his town.He had to supervise at 7 am on
recycling day the division of 14 categories of recycling.
ate sushi and some fast food.My
favorite restaurant was “Joyful Restaurant.”It wasn’t crowded and the food was similar to fast food but
better. Hand wipes were always furnished. Even in the fast food restaurants we
were furnished with pop up variety wet naps.We enjoyed cooking our own food at one restaurant where you
put the filling and condiments on a griddle and cooked at your table.
Photo by Bobbi
Christmas we attended the Protestant church Jes had been attending.The sermon was in Japanese.We were gifted with homemade cookies.We enjoyed an Italian dinner later.
has adapted the U.S. custom of Christmas shopping and consumerism, but not the
reason for the season—the birth of Christ. IRRASHAIMASSE!
(Welcome) is what the employees of the store yell at you to make sure you feel
Lights in Tokyo. Photo by Bobbi
Possible Christian charity. They had a loudspeaker. Photo by Bobbi
New Years Eve we joined the town party at the 2 shrines, one Shinto and the
other Buddhist.They were serving
hot sake and red beans.There was
a big bonfire.The principal of
the school was there and we talked to him briefly.I enjoy doing “something” to celebrate on New Year’s Eve
because I love the New Year.Everything is fresh and ready for a new start.So New Years in Japan was one of the best for me.The next morning after the celebration everything
had been removed.All that
remained was a raked dirt field between the 2 shrines.
photo by Charlene
Shrine in Koyto. Photo by Chris
course one must see the castles especially Himeji-jo which was carefully
restored in the late 50’s using all traditional techniques.It differs from many of the castles in
Japan nowadays as many are made of concrete.
At Nogoya Castle. Photo by Chris
a soft American I could never live in Japan, as some places do not have central
heating and air conditioning. My son tells me that most do. I do
like the food including seaweed.I’m glad I visited as I can relate to others who have lived or traveled