We're arrived in Japan to spent twelve days with our darling son Rossy, leaving our other darling son Keith minding the store.
Ross moved to Japan to live and work around eight years ago. Since then he's been home for a few visits including the time he came back for Katherine & Thomas' wedding - arriving a day later than expected - but we didn't hear the full story of what caused the delay until some time later. Then there was the year he came back to Sydney to celebrate Christmas, along with two Japanese girls! However the last time we saw Rossy in the flesh was when he joined us all in the South of France to celebrate my 70th birthday last year. So we were due for another visit, this being our third time in Japan.
The minute you step off the plane you know you're in a very different country with a unique culture. Travelling from Narita airport to Shinagowa, where Ross was to met us, we were informed - in both Japanese and English - why the train was slowing down (to let another train pass). Then there was the extremely polite person pushing a
Rossy and his mumsy
When we got back to Ross' apartment; twelve minutes walk to work from here
trolley of eats should you feel a bit peckish during the hour it took to travel from A to B. I can't see Sydney trains ever doing that! And should your eyes want to stray to what's flashing past at some great speed you'll see that every piece of spare land inbetween the houses you pass is under cultivation with either rice or vegetables. Another very Japanese trait is that so many workers wear uniforms, most with peaked caps and white gloves or for those working on building sites as well as wearing the same uniforms even the hard hats are all the same. Uniformity, neatness and extreme politeness is the order of the day!
Anyone who is meeting a friend at Shinagowa station usually arranges to meet under the clock just outside the Central exit so that was our meeting place. Once reunited it was off to Ross' apartment which is not far from the station and from where he'd arranged to work from home since we were coming. Japanese culture is not very accepting of working from home; you're considered not to be working unless you're actually in the office. Nevertheless the section in which Ross works
has many employees from various points around the globe where working from home is acceptable and with a Canadian boss who's happy for him to do so on the odd occasion - you can't rock the boat too much!
This is our first visit to Ross' apartment which he only moved into a few months ago. On the 23rd floor of a fairly new building the apartment is small by Australian standards but very nice, with views of Mount Fuji from the balcony. Ross has very kindly given up his Queen size bed for us and he's sleeping on the sofa bed which, being fairly new, is quite comfortable.
We went out for our meal in the evening of day one, meeting one of Ross' workmates Dave and his wife Claudia - both from NYC - to wander around the Odiaba district finishing up at a Sushi Train restaurant. Great company and delicious food. But when we got back to the apartment the bed certainly had a smile on its face to welcome us!
Friday morning we walking with Ross to his office - about twelve minutes from his apartment - before finding our way back. Then
it was off to purchase tickets and book a hotel room for a weekend excursion. We walked our socks off in he process, revisited the main Tokyo station which is almost 100 years old and was in the middle of refurbishment when we were last here. It's all now finished. At a cost of 50 Billion Yen the building has been returned to how it looked before being damaged in WW11. It's amazing that the whole building wasn't lost when, on 9 March 1945, US warplanes launched a major bombing offensive dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over 48 hours, killing between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians in the worst single firestorm in recorded history. Time moves on and now the station is visited by many tourists - attracted to the nearby Imperial Palace - amongst the 380,000 train passengers it handles each day. We certainly enjoyed seeing it in all it's glory.
Our travel plans sorted, Kev & I walked back to where Ross works where we met him and many of his workmates at a bar and restaurant close to the office. It was a long night; we didn't get back until after 11pm so
Gundam welcomed us!
Grandpa wanted to wrap this up for you Rupert but we decided it was way too big.
once again the bed looked very welcoming!!
Tot: 0.118s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 14; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0396s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb
Love the view from Ross's apartment. Have you ever visited mt. Fuji
Michelle & Kevin Cavanagh
The last time we were in Japan we went up Mt Fuji. Well, to the very highest spot you can get to before you have to climb where we discovered, from those who'd just done it, that it was an effort of at least five hours there and back. And, we were told, it was hard work!
Michelle, Great to hear about your trip. Let's get together when you get back home. Beryl
Michelle & Kevin Cavanagh
We'll be back home on 29 May so let me know when suits you after that.