Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tokyo (11/30-12/3/2011)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
(Continued from Chigasaki.)
After arriving in Roppongi, I checked into the Arca Torre Hotel. The hotel room was small and reminded me of a cruise ship cabin:
The bathroom had a deep Japanese tub with the shower head connected to the sink faucet:
I went in search of free WiFi in Roppongi Hills. Found the giant spider, "Mamman:"
They were having a Christmas market, "just like" in Germany:
Saw several of these doggie strollers in Tokyo:
All ready for Christmas!
The Tokyo Tower at night:
Kent arived at the hotel late at night.

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Kent had work all day today in Tokyo. It was cold and rainy.
Tamiko rode the Metro and came up in the Ginza district:
The Ginza is known for upscale shopping and restaurants.
The Wako Department store in one of the original buildings:
Built in 1932 in Neo-Renaissance style with the Hattori Clock Tower. Hattori founded a watch and jewelry shop in 1881, but the watch and jewelry store later became part of Seiko while the growing retail section became Wako.
A Hybrid No-step/kneeling bus:
A fantastic display with an owl made from evergreens:
Strange angel sculptures featured children's art:
That evening we met with Kent's Chofu High School classmates, Gerri and Jim, for a marvelous dinner. Raw chicken livers were a hit!

Friday, December 2, 2011
Another dreary day. We found a bagel place to have breakfast.
A smoking area along the city street:
Do we need to tell you how different Tokyo is from Shanghai?!
Cousin Kimie met us in the hotel lobby and took us by a couple Metro trains to the Itabashi area and Aunt Kyoko's house. Together with Aunt Kyoko, we went to vist Grandmother Tamiko. This involved the Metro, a tram, and a bus!
Aunt Michiko was already there with Grandmother at the nursing facility:
Grandmother Tamiko turned 103 years old in October 2011!
Grandmother with Aunt Michiko, Kent, Tamiko, and Aunt Kyoko:
Some of Grandmother's origami:
After lunch of noodles, we separated from Aunt Michiko and headed back to Itabashi.
That evening we had dinner at a Korean restaurant with many more family members.
In a Korean restaurant, you have to cook your own food!
The son of Cousin Kaori, Hayato, enjoyed his meal:
Going around the table from the left are Kent, Cousin Kimie, Tamiko, Aunt Kikuko, Cousin Kaori holding Hayato, Aunt Itsuko (Yoshiyuki's wife), Cousin Sayuri, Uncle Yoshiyuki, and Aunt Kyoko:
Back at Aunt Kyoko's and Kimie's house, Kimie's dog Rato was excited to see Uncle Yoshiyuki and Hayato:
A friend sent Kimie 60 roses for her 60th birthday:

Saturday, December 3, 2011
Kimie's brother, Cousin Ryushi and his wife, Akemi, came to visit before going to a funeral.
The Kitta family - Akemi, Aunt Kyoko, Ryushi, Kimie, and Rato:
Ryushi, Kent, Tamiko, Aunt Kyoko, Kimie, Rato:
Later that morning, Kimie took us shopping to the Asakusa district, near a large temple.
But first, a poster for a restaurant:
We were looking for a Girls' Festival doll display and Boys' Festival carp windsocks. It's harder to find traditional items, as the festival days have merged into one Children's Day.
Emperor and Empress dolls:
A three-level display was all we could afford!
This one is about 30" wide.
Here is a much bigger "number one" display:
It must be about 5-feet wide.
And here is the complete 7-level set:
Another smaller set:
A Kabuto/samurai helmet:
Kimie brought a friend to accompany us, and they were a big help in this almost all-day shopping excursion. Thank you, Kimie and Ikuko!

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