Firstly, just want to say we are ok after last night’s 6.4 earthquake. Fortunately we are not near, although we did feel it. Thank you for the kind messages and enquiries and our thoughts go out to those who were affected.
Tomorrow it will be time to say goodbye to our house in Tokyo and move on. We mentioned in a previous post that we were making different plans, so will be calling in a few more Japanese cities before leaving Asia and heading to a new continent. We’ll be cruising to Alaska on the MS Volendam, so not sure if we’ll have any Wi-Fi for a while as we cross the North Pacific.
The past week has seen us spending a lot of time at the park, having picnic lunches under the blossom and enjoying the playgrounds (with Ian choosing the same lunch every day.) We have been lucky with many days of good weather and spending it in a lovely setting. Our airbnb house is a quite grubby (unlike the immaculate airbnb stays we had in Osaka and Kobe), so it will be nice to get away from the over powering smell of mothballs.
Where we are staying is close to Hanahata Memorial Park Oukatei which are beautiful gardens looked after by the Adachi residents, enjoyed by the public. The area has many Special Needs schools and we have also seen many adults with disabilities supported by staff as they visit the gardens, parks and local supermarket. Oukatei is lovely, with a small café serving ice cream and cake. The sweet lady gave us a menu in Japanese and we tried our best to order. She then implied that the cakes chosen were a set meal so we would need to choose drinks to go with them. Looking at a list of unfamiliar Japanese text characters, we told her we didn’t understand what it said and that we would just have to just point, hinting that we needed help. When none was forthcoming, we just hoped for the best. Every time we pointed and chose something, she then would say it in English … but not before, “Ah, orange juice,” “Ah, mango juice.”
The garden has a waterfall, gazebo, stone lanterns, stepping stones, bridges and lots of Koi. A beautiful place to visit.
The kids have been keeping up with their schoolwork. We have watched lots of old (for that read ‘free on Youtube’) movies on the laptop and had a music evening (DIY Karaoke / Japan’s Got Talent auditions!) We chose not to venture far, except for Disneyland so haven’t explored Tokyo like other tourists would, with its busy, noisy nightlife, bustling crowds and exciting electric lights… perhaps breathing in all those mothballs has that effect!
Hits included :
Uptown Funk (“Thursday night and we’re in Japan- Don’t believe me, just watch! Oww!”)
Let One Go
A is for Apple
Ghostbusters (Séamus: “I ain’t afraid of no goats!”)
… followed by Taylor Swift, J-Lo, Shakira, Jelly on the Plate and sadly many, many more!
Bet you are so glad we can’t upload any videos on this blog!