Thursday, January 24, 2013

Land of the Rising Sun

The Barefoot Hippies have taken Japan by a storm, and today you get a photo dump. Enjoy. (I'm going to let the photo captions tell the story.)

Leavin' on a jet plane...Better back again in a month.
boys thrilled with the lego sets we got them. Thanks, Aunt Lydia. The thrill lasted most of the plane ride.

I'm not tired...I'm not tired. Towards the end of our 13 hour flight.
First full day...the mountains around Shibukawa
An amazing cabbage salad. If I knew how they prepared it, I would eat cabbage like this everyday.
Fried pork. The kids with Mrs. Kraai

playing games at English class-BMV's group. Preposition Memory.

Freckle's group

LC's group. Good for their English and a good workout for her shape knowledge repertiore.

Origami toys.

Mr. Hippie playing Go with one of the students. He got creamed.

A Buddhist Shrine/temple

Amazing architecture, dark place.

water for cleansing
More at the Shrine
Add caption

You can find a Starbucks anywhere, and we Barefoot Hippies do. Everywhere.

LC and Sam

Tokyo-rivals Mexico City as the biggest city in the world-

it goes on and on and on and on

If you squint, you can see the Tokyo Tree in the background.
The largest free standing tower in the world.

More city, and city park.!

Barefoot Hippies, all present and accounted for.
Very stereotypical Japanese street sight.
The layers of ads line up with the floors in the buildings.

the kids playing on the Tokyo ladybugs

alive and thriving!

Suffice it to say, we are having an amazing time!

We have been able to see a lot. And spend time with our friends too. Seeing a lot.

We have tried new foods, though nothing really odd.

Our bodies are adjusting to the time zone, though the kids were up at 5:00 this morning, and sawing zzzzsss by 8:00 tonight.

I love the architecture and the chirpy sound of the language. I love the fact that we have had western toilets every place we have visited so far. And those toilet seats are warmed. Wow! Yes. I could permanently get hooked on that.

My 3 favorite things to date would be...(in no particular order)

1) Spending time with 3 generations of Kraais. I've enjoyed catching up with them, and seeing their home digs. We have prayed for them for years. From now on I will be able to picture them in their surroundings, and also have a first hand knowledge of how to pray for them.

2) English class. These older ladies and gentlemen were a hoot. They enjoyed playing games with the kids, and the kids loved it too. Plus they performed a Japanese painting/sheet play for us, and "introduced" us to origami. (Shhh...don't tell them it is Mr. Hippie's hobby.) They showered us with love and made us feel very special. We had a blast.

3) Walking around Tokyo. I love walking the streets of cities, and soaking up the feel and nuances. It is crazy! I like gawking at the buildings and seeing the sites. I'd much rather do that than, say, go to a museum.

Tomorrow is our last day in the Land of the Rising Sun. Already. We have waited so long for this trip, and now the first leg is almost finished.

We will be heading in to Tokyo again tomorrow. Maybe moseying on over to the Imperial Palace. Maybe seeing the busiest intersection in the world, after passing through the busiest subway station in the world. (Shinichi? 3 MILLION people pass through there every day.)

Regardless, this has been an amazing start to our trip. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Does this spur you on to save your pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to go travel? Where would you go if money was not an object? Tell me in the comments!