Friday, October 13, 2006

Last blog posting as a single man, and I am totally cool with that

In less than 12 hours, Yoshiko and I will be filling out the paperwork at Utsunomiya City Hall making us legally man and wife. How cool is that! I am pretty mellow about it, and I think Yoshiko is as well, though we are of course both happy and excited about taking this step. My mother, (who is currently trying to convince me she has a better way of doing the dishes in my apartment than I do, she hasn't won her point yet) is quite giddy about everything and quite pleased to finally be getting a girl in the family.

Today, we got up early and made our way down to the station to hop on our train into Tokyo. The initial plan was to hit Shinjuku first and make it up the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building while it was still relatively clear out, but the cloudy\hazy weather convinced me to head directly to Shibuya instead. As we exited the train and made our way into the station, the sheer scale of Tokyo started to hit my mother as we saw hundreds of people marching down hallways in every direction. Little did she know, this was but a taste of busy Tokyo. Our first stop was Shibuya Crossing, where we spent a little time watching people and my mother tried to get her head around the fashion sense (or lack thereof) of some of the passers by.

We did eventually actually cross the crossing. I have yet to see it really busy... maybe on the weekends?

Here are some decidedly different characters walking on by, gotta love the hip hop guy in the winter jacket. It was around this place that my mother got a little taste of some of the little irritations of life as a foreigner in Japan. A girl handing out tissues in Shibuya REFUSED to give my mother a pack, which did not make little Anne too too happy.

After checking out Tokyu Hands where I picked up my Halloween Costume, we grabbed lunch at a so-so Italian place before making our way to Harajuku on the Yamanote Line. Thanks to my soon-to-be-wife, we had a pair of tickets allowing us free rides on the JR lines all day! Upon arriving in Harajuku, we immediately made our way into the park and headed towards the Meiji Shrine. These doors are ornamented in a rather subtle and elegant way, totally Japanese.

The sun did eventually make an appearance, making the shrine quite lovely.

The tree you can see above is surrounded by plaques on which people write their wishes\thanks\etc. The thing I am always surprised by is the variety of languages present. I love the way the light was hitting these.

As we walked around, we noticed this sign shouting out "No Pedestrian Only"... any idea what they're trying to say here? Kanji translation anyone?

We then did a quick tour around the streets of Harajuku and down Omotesando where my mother admired (from a distance) 10,000 dollar purses and some of the gaudiest shoes you could ever come across. We then headed to our final destination, Shinjuku, and made our way through underground tunnels to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which towers over the landscape.

Here was the view from the top on a hazy Tokyo day.

This is Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine, which we walked around earlier, as seen from 45 floors up in Shinjuku.

My mother towering over Tokyo.

And after a little bit of shopping around the station, back down the Utsunomiya line to our little slice of Japan. Quite happy to be back, we dropped by Nagasakiya for some grub and I made a basterdized version of Sukuyaki I'd like to name Sukiyakidon. Quite yummy.

Now, off to bed, early day tomorrow and a full day of work too. Only a little over 4 months of Saturday teaching left! Starting in two weeks, I will be teaching lessons for the final time.

Next time I write here, I will be a married man!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Michel and Yoshiko,

My name is Joanne, and I am your mother's assistant. I just wanted to congratulate you both, and to thank you Michel, for all of your pictures. It is quite enjoyable to watch your experience.

Tell your mom that I am looking forward to seeing her.

Hope you have a wonderful life together (and lots of babies, heheheh)

8:36 AM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

Ha! Thanks for the wishes Joanne!

8:59 PM  

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