Late Update Before the Big Visit

Trip Start Jul 28, 2007
Trip End Aug 30, 2008

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Flag of Japan  ,
Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Things have started to get really busy lately with planning for a visit from Sebastian's family. Weekends have been spent researching and booking places, but we have managed to get out a few times. In Tokyo recently, we wandered around Shinjuku, which we hadn't really revisited since our arrival. We also checked out another Bunraku play. It was really fun again, and the most memorable part was when the puppeteer was actually lifted off the ground with his puppet by strings. The puppeteer was playing a fox character whose spirit was flying away, and though the whole scene could have seemed pretty hokey, it was actually pretty cool, particularly as the whole set began to lower as the puppeteer ascended with the fox above the pretty sakura!

At school, students were running their marathons in mid-February. Boys run 10Km, and girls run 5-7km. Students have been training for months, but Sebastian decided to run with the boys anyway, after only a week's training. Not such a good idea! He did make it though, into a stadium filled with hundreds of screaming students, despite his poor ranking (which has been conveniently forgotten).

Afterwards, we decided to check into an onsen on the izu peninsula to recoup, and boy was it ever helpful! It's impossible not to relax at these places! The branch in Ohito had about 7 or so different baths, including cold, warm, hot, silky, salty, some giant tea cups where you soak in tea, and a couple outdoor baths as well.

We have recently been going regularly to a similar branch that's much closer, in Fujinomiya, that has more baths, including some medecine baths, and a jacuzzi. The baths are really only half the reason to go though! There are also saunas, lots of free accessories (like toothbrushes, razors, hair and face products, etc), free massage chairs, free and paid eating areas, free internet, free movie sofas, free exercise areas, free healing room (heated marble area where you can lie down), free foos-ball and air hockey, and you can also pay a bit extra for ping pong, karaoke, the oxygen tank (read: coffin), and spa treatments and massages (including bamboo stick massage)! You can spend the whole day here for just 15$! PLUS! Free banana at the end!

In other news, things are also getting busy at school, as 3rd yr students recently graduated (which was a rather sombre affair, with music to match...quite surprisingly)...and some teachers also prepare to change schools. This means some goodbye enkais, and soon some hello enkais!
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