An International Week: June 12- 19

Trip Start May 26, 2010
Trip End Jul 13, 2010

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Sunday, June 20, 2010

What a week we had....

On Saturday, June 12, Mark and I walked across the Rainbow Bridge. We met a young man, David, from Sweden as we started across the bridge. We enjoyed his company and his English. Mark was able to play tour guide for me and David. David was there for a two week holiday by himself. He loves a couple of bands from Austin, so who knows...we may see him again in Texas!

On Sunday, Mark and I met up with Masa at the Shinagawa Station. Masa was an exchange student in Austin and stayed with Don and Mattie McKinley's relatives. Mattie was gracious and introduced us to Masa via email. Masa lives and works in Tokyo. He graduated from the University of Houston. He took us to a Japanese noodle restaurant. He explained the menu...something that we really need help with since we cannot read the Japanese menus. The food was so yummy. We ended up spending the afternoon with him, just talking..him practicing his English and us learning more about the area and history.

Tuesday night we went to "What the Dickens", an English pub in  Ebisu ( four stops away on the JR Yamanote Rail line...about 15 minutes from here.) We were invited there by a fellow Bureau Shinagawa resident, Randy. Randy is from the UK and has been in Japan for over one year on business.  Simon, works with Randy and is from Malaysia. He looks like a kid. (they both work for a company that is putting in a flight simulator for the new Boeing 787 that is is production.) The Steak Pie was delicious...was the first time that I heard of steak pie. We spent the evening talking with one of the Japanese concierges from our building, Yoshimi and a previous concierge, Tanya, from the Ukraine. Yoshimi spent 2 years at Disney World and her English is really good. Tanya came to Japan 8 years ago for school and stayed. She is now engaged to a Japanese gentleman. An interesting point about the space that houses the 'Dickens'...this is where the Aum Shinirikyo group plotted the March 1995 Tokyo Train Station Sarin Incident.

Wednesday night we went out to eat Italian food with a couple from Arizona. Mark ran into Rene at the office and of course realized that he was a gaijin (foreigner). Rene is originally from Germany. His wife, Gosha, is from Poland. We had a delightful evening with the two of them. They are on their way to Thailand for a belated honeymoon.

Thursday I had lunch with Shiori. Shiori is a concierge here at the Bureau. Her English is great. She had spent 13 years in the US. We went to get a rice bowl. Again, I need help with figuring out what the food choices are and then ordering. We had a great lunch ( I even tried the was amazing!) with lots of time to talk. I would love for all of you to meet Shiori when she comes to the US!!!

Friday was Kimono day! (See previous post)

Saturday we went to Akihabara, also known as Electitric Town. I can't get over the number of people and tall buildings filled with electronics. Mark bought a new tripod at Yodobashi Camera. It was on the 3rd floor of this jam packed store. The signage was of course all in Japanese...don't know what it all said... I wanted to look at IPhone cases but was too overwhelmed with the entire experience. Mark found a Tempura restaurant in the midst of all of the people and buildings....oh my new favorite food is tempura. It was crazy yummy...

From Akihabara we went to Harajuku. This is where the young people hang out in really weird clothes. This is also where the Meiji Shrine is. The shrine was we will go back soon.

Everyday is an adventure...

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