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Videos!

Hi all again,
I’ve posted the videos I took during the trip.  To see them, just click the Videos! tab at the top of the page.  Enjoy!
-Amy

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Click this link to see my photos.  We will be posting later a photo bucket link of all our photos.

We left on Saturday afternoon.  The timing of the flight was nice – it gave us time to explore the sumo district some more, get some last minute gift shopping in and pack our bags.  We left for the hotel at around noon.  I think we were all sad to see Mari go, especially Jessica, Stephen and I.  She was so helpful and so great with the kids.

Stephen, Mari, Amy & Jessica

Stephen, Mari, Amy & Jessica

We got to the airport with enough time for some last minute conveyor-belt sushi. 

Ichi-ban and Ni-ban enjoying sushi

Ichi-ban and Ni-ban enjoying sushi

We then said good bye to Mari and headed off to the gate. 

Goodbye Mari!

Goodbye Mari!

12 hours later – D.C.!  It took us nearly as long to get back to NYC thanks to a technical issue with the plane and United’s inability to get appropriate signatures to approve take-off.  Go figure!

It was nice to see all the parents and sad to see everyone go.

As Mari’s card said:  “Itsu kushiimo o mishii to omoeru, anata no kokoro ga utsukushii”.  Who remembers what it means?
-Amy

While it was billed to us as a free day, we still scheduled tons of activities.  Mari took a small group of us to the fish market to see a tuna auction…at 5:15 in the morning.  The market was CRAZY – there were small trucks speeding around on all sides of us.  Fish everywhere (of course).  Here’s a picture of frozen tuna on the auction block.  They were about half a Charles in size J 

Frozen Tuna

Frozen Tuna

 

 

 

 

We then went to the Shueisa Studio to get a tour of the publishers of a weekly manga called Shonen Jump.  Shonen Jump includes some of the kids’ favorites including Bleach and One Piece.  We met with an editor who talked to us about the process of creating the weeklies and then gave us an advanced copy of next week’s issue.  The whole tour was amazing.  The kids were SO HAPPY.  Here we are with our new friend:

 

Thank You!

Thank You!

 

Special thanks to Marc Weidenbaum at Viz Media in California and Hiromi Hasegawa at Viz Media in Tokyo who arranged the tour, and Yoshizumi-san at Shueisha who showed us some rare artifacts of the company’s history. 

 

We then went to Akihabara, which is like going to Times Square:  big neon signs, lots of electronics, and, of course, video games.  The kids looked for games, music and manga that they can’t get in the U.S.  We then went back to Asakusa for a group tempura dinner.  Since this was our last dinner, everyone got dressed up.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture here, or at the karaoke session when occurred afterwards.

 

When karaoke was over, the cashier gave me directions to the subway stop we needed to get home.  She said it was a 13 minute walk and since the weather was pleasant, we decided to walk it.  On the way, I thought it unusual that she said “13” and then realized, 20 minutes into the walk, that she really said 30.  Oh well.

 

We made it home and the kids either attacked the arcade (again) or went to bed.  It was our last night and we were full of mixed feelings: sad to go home while also missing our families and NYC food. 

 

-Amy

On the way home

Amy’s husband here, I got a text earlier this morning saying they’re on the plane.  With any luck, they’ll be home for dinner!

Hi everybody, sorry for the late post – Thursday was a long long day.  We got up early and toured around the city via bus and boat.  We saw a couple of more shrines (Meiji and Asakusa) and more shopping. 

Most important, the shopping was in the Harujuku district, which basically means you all are getting some crazy presents. 

Beginning of Harajuku street

Beginning of Harajuku street

After Harujuku, we went back to the hotel to change for dinner of the same food sumo wrestlers eat.  The dinner was in a tatami room and very tasty.

Chanko nabe

Chanko nabe

After dinner, we took the subway to Shinjuku to go to the top of the city hall to view some fireworks.  Unfortunately, we mis-timed our arrival and got lost and arrived just after the fireworks finished.  Luckily, we were still able to enjoy the skyline:Tokyo Skyline looking North:

Syline

Syline

After getting back, we hung out at the hotel until the wee hours.

🙂
-Amy

Amy’s husband again.  I got a text:

“Can u post that we ate sumo food last ni ght then fish mkt then manga studio?”

Consider it done.  I’m also led to believe that the dinner went late and the fish market was at 5:30 AM this morning, thus explaining the lack of blog posts.  Today (tomorrow) is their last full day in japan!