So, we had to be at Ueno station at 10 am Saturday, so Adam was on guard to wake us all up. 8:15 was the time. By 7:45 Holly and I had showered and were basically back in bed when Adam came knocking. For some reason we both got up early. Let me descirbe a Japanese hotel. First, Holly and I got the Japanese style room while the others each got a Western style room. Mine and Holly's room was the tatami mats and a futon. Yeah, that is it. It was apparently a double room too. Hmm. I guess two girls would be fine on the futon, but not two guys. Too small. Anyway, the others got beds. Actual beds. Nice. Apparently they were hard as a rock, so I think Holly and I win. Inside the rooms is just a bed and or futon. That is about it. There is a little locker to put your stuff in and a light switch. The hotel was three floors. The showers were on the first, as well as the women's restrooms. The guys restrooms were on the second floor, and on the third floor was the unisex bathroom. That's right. Urinals to the left, stalls to the right. Eyes forward. I did not use. There are no sinks in the rooms, so you have to brush your teeth and everything basically in the hallway. Not much privacy. A little strange. It was all cool though.
We left the hotel at around 9 and went to McDonalds for breakfast. Fantastic. In America, I only eat McDonalds if I absolutely have to, but in Japan it is just so good. We got into Ueno station right at 10. Takeshi was going to be a little late, so just hung out there with Bryan. Finally, we were on our way to Asakusa. Who-hoo! The giant temple full of tiny shopping stores. I mean seriously, you cannot fit more than four or five people in the little stores, and if somebody has on a backpack...watch out.
Takeshi has a friend that operates the rickshaw rides in Tokyo. They. Are. Awesome! Adam and I wanted to ride, so we got in and we got ten minutes for about 3000 yen. Not bad. During the ride the guy would stop and tell us about the historic buildings and shops. Very informative. It was great! Next, was Bryan and Tyler. After the fantastic ride we went into the market to do some shopping. We split up, with Bryan, Shane and Takeshi going one way, and me, Adam, Holly and Tyler going another. We shopped for so long. It was sooo hot! We finally finished around 2:30, so we decided to head to the Emperor's Palace.
Sweet! By this time, five of us had been walking for close to 24 hours, so we were exhausted. Our feet were killing! We finally made it to the palace after walking for about 15 minutes. Probably more. You cannot see the actual palace, but the gardens are beautiful! Magnificent. The Tokyo skyline in the background. A moat surrounds the palace and it was just amazing. I mean, we passed by these huge gates that samurai's once guarded in order to protect the Emperor. How cool is that? We rested a bit at the gardens, so we decided to call it a day. It was about 5. We were hungry so we went to eat dinner at this fantastic curry shop and took the 6:15 train home. We finally got into Taga around 9:40. What a long two days. Even now, Monday night, I am still exhausted from the trip. However, I would not trade it for the world. My ankles are so swollen, my heels feel as if razor blades are running under them, and my toe nails just hurt. Ouch.
Sunday was great. I had two readers and then we had our Hawaiian party. Great turnout. After the party we went to the store and spent like 10,000 yen on groceries and headed to the onsen. Oh. My. Goodness. I forgot how relaxing it was! We did not want to leave. We got back to the church around 11:30 and I called dad and went to sleep. Best night of sleep ever...until I woke up at 8.
Today was also great. I have not had a bad day. Michi and Sara wanted me and Adam to try tofu ice cream. Adam gave me strawberry vanilla instead. Thank you. Maybe one day I will try. I heard it was sweet.
Adam and I got to the train station and saw some readers who were also waiting. We asked then where they were going and they said they were going to Taga to study Bible with Hanna and Sara. Just then Hanna showed up, so we rode the train together. Awesome! Later, Adam and I cooked dinner and afterwards we all played phase ten and had a starburst fight. It was great. Starburst are fun. Yehaw!
So, that was the short version of my adventures. I have so many memories that will not be saved only for the grandkids; they will be told to all who want to hear. I look back, and miss America, but then I turn my head and this fits too. It is hard to get homesick when you feel so at home. I really do feel at home. Such generous, caring people. They either love foreigners, or just love all people. I'm shooting for the latter. What a beautiful country that desperately needs to be ministered to. So many seekers, not enough Christians. Shame.
Well, that is all for now. I think this is a new record- two posts in two days. Yata!