The Clips and Trips blog was put together in preparation for our leaving the U.S. on an indefinite world travel adventure which started around August of 2009 and returned us home in December of 2012. If you want to see where it all began, read our mission statement from before we left.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The most important thing I can say about our stay in Tokyo, is that if you like being approached by and talking with strangers, then this is the place for you. More than anywhere else in Asia we've been, people go far out of their way to extend a warm hand of friendship, inquisitiveness, or a genuine offer of assistance. It is not uncommon for the Japanese to take part in home-stays, often in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Europe. Most had fond memories of their experiences abroad and wished to take the opportunity to return a gesture of warm welcome to us.
Pam is shown how to make an origami chop stick holder and I sing karaoke. On Friday and Saturday evenings, we often saw couples on dates wearing traditional kimonos.
We were there during lotus blossom season. Ueno has a beautiful big park in the center of the district with a vast marsh of lotus pads and flowers.
Pam with her friend Maiko, taking us out to dinner.
We frequented izakayas, which are like traditional Japanese tapas bars. Many friendly people show up after work for some drinks and snacks. You'll be served things like yakitori sticks of beef/chicken/pork, grilled or fried whole fish, sashimi, fried squid balls, potato salad, croquettes, and many other delicious tasties.
This man treated us to his favorite beef dish, and reminisced about his time spent in the U.S. He stressed the importance of doing home stays, and how it's essential to immerse yourself into a culture when traveling.
We sat in a park drinking mango mojitos watching kids cooling off in the heat of the summer night by running around under a water laser light show.
We happened upon a traditional wedding at a shrine.
Trains and subways are clean and not always jam packed like you see on youtube.