Monday, October 15, 2012

Japan 5

Okay, so really, I don't even really know where we are! We have done so much stuff in such a small amount of time, you miss one day and you can't keep up!

But i'll try to get you all up to speed. So, Tuesday, was our "free"day. Ha! "Free Day!"

We met with a missionary for coffee early in the morning. It was supposed to be an hour meeting but ended up talking to him for two hours. Cool guy, good guy, doing a lot of good work here. Yeah.

After that we headed back to the hotel to decided what to do with the rest of the day. We had a prayer meeting at 7:30 and it was about noon. What to do, what to do. 

Well, at the rate that we had been going, we should have done something chill... but there is no rest for the weary!

We decided to take a road trip. Nathaniel suggested that we go to a small town about an hour south of Tokyo and Matt and I jumped on the idea. 

We grabbed some lunch at a super local place....

dropped MaryAnn off a the hotel because she was smart and took advantage of the rest, and headed off in to the maze that is the Tokyo public transportation system. Let's take a step back. You may be thinking, city... ya know, public transportation, whatever. Not so hard. L.A. has 7 million people. Tokyo has 35 million people, and they are all going somewhere.

We took a picture of our hotel's phone number in case we got lost...

and set off! Streets of Ginza anyone?

Step one done, made it to the suburb train station. Actually, we were running through the station because we were trying to make the earliest train possible to maximize our Kamakura time.

We got there seconds after the train left.... so we waited.

Matt and I had a seat next to one another... Nathaniel made some new friends.

Welcome to Kamakura!

Hmm.... figure this one out.

Kamakura is a really cute shopping town on the water. There are a bunch of temples and shrines to visit here too. It would have been so fun to spend some more time here, but we didn't have it, so we saw the abbreviated version of the town.

Not sure at all what this is a picture of...

This was so good! Ice cream (obviously) but the flavor choices were green tea, green tea sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato vanilla, or vanilla. Sounds totally gross and I was ready for them to be nasty...
They were delicious!!! Nathaniel had green tea sweet potato, I had sweet potato vanilla, and Matt had vanilla.

This is for biscuit!

Odd pictures of the town.

We made it to a shrine! First shrine for me.

No idea what this is.... beer?

Matt went camera crazy!

This dude was creepy!
The weather was absolutely stunning!

Massive fish!

I wanted a ride from this dude, but we were in a hurry to get back!

Gyu Kaku in Japan!

Nathaniel wanted to pick some stuff up at a grocery store. We went to one and they were out of what he wanted. Then, using our stellar Japanese, we asked where another one was. We got a general direction and head out. I found a store that looked like Monoprix from the outside and we went in! It was a grocery store!

Our train was minutes from leaving! We hadn't eaten dinner yet and we had to be back for our prayer meeting by 7:30! We hopped on the train, almost missed our stop, ran and scooped up Mary Ann (who I just learned has a space in her name) and headed to the Pfeils for a prayer meeting. Dinner was out.

Sarah Pfeil had pie, which we scarfed down! Well, Matt did, the rest of us ate like normal people. Our thought was to get dinner afterwards. However, the meeting lasted till eleven.

Long but really fun day!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Japan 3

Oh my gosh! I'm back! I was dead tired last night and after finally getting the wifi to work after an hour of trying, I was done. And so now, the story continues....

So we went to church at Grace City Tokyo. It meets in a space that they have totally outgrown, which is awesome. The church is super hip! Even the pastor, who is like 50 some is really on it. The service is all in Japanese but they have earpieces that you can use to hear the translation. I felt so cool with my earpiece. All I needed was someone to ask me questions in Japanese, hear the translation through my earpiece, and then i could respond!

After church, I got my second wind. Church and jetlag really do not mix well. With my second wind came hunger. So we set off to find something to eat.

Someone had told Matt that we needed to eat ramen in Japan and someone else, someone who lives here, told us that there was good ramen under the train bridge. So we went there...

It still wasn't obvious. So we made some friends, who found out where we should eat, took us there, and then got us a table! Love doing stuff like this!!!!

It was totally awesome! The noodles were great! Mine, which said little spice were ridiculously hot and Matt's which said medium spice were not really spicy at all. Go figure. I drank so much water, I think I peed like three times between that meal and going to bed.

Yes... very spicy!

Beer. Cold. Good.

We headed back to the hotel, were I proceed to try to blog, but was exhausted.

<<<Insert Sleep Here>>>>

The next  morning.... I woke up. Praise God! Ha, no, but seriously, we got ready, i found out that if we are not careful, suicide is definitely an option from our window, and we headed out.

Let' start with this... Matt LOVES Japan. I don't think that he knew this until two days ago when we arrived. He loves speaking Japanese, meeting Japanese people, and figuring out the Japanese metro. He know like, maybe 15 words now in Japanese, and that is just plenty. There is literally nothing that he can't accomplish here! It's so great!

 Notice the suitcase. Today, we were helping the peeps put on a sports day. Today was a national holiday in Japan commerating when the olympics were in Tokyo. We were in charge of bringing all the stuff for the games. Enter suitcase.

(Sidenote: I am listening to the new Avett Brothers CD, it's really great. I love track 6)

Game day was happening at 10, we were meeting up with the Pfiels at 9:15 but first we needed to pick up some lunch for the picnic after gameday. We hit up the Japanese version of 7-11, Daily.

I got what looked like chicken katsu, beer tea (it wasn't but it was tea made by Kirin) and pocky!

To get to the park where we were to do game day we had to take the monorail.

Did I mention that the day was STUNNING! Absolutely STUNNING!

Pfeil kids, MaryAnn, and Matt

Pfiels, Seima, Nathaniel, two train guards.

View from gameday park

Matt and Nathaniel

Where we set up

People! They came!

All the kids are so so so cute!!!!

The games went really really well, which was great. I was a bit nervous because i was supposedly coordinating them, and everything had to be translated and the kids were little!

MaryAnn did like an easter egg hunt with fun size m&m's which was such a hit!

After the games, we did a picnic. Not only do you have to take off your shoes to go into houses, but apparently onto picnic blankets too!

More pictures of peoples backs.

Omg! Okay, so these people are so great! We have met so many cool people but the the two that I have talked to the most are two ladies named Aki and Yoco. So Aki is super nice and her daughter is beautiful! She has the longest eyelashes and this cute pixie cut! She's really outgoing to fun to talk to. The other lady is named Yoco. Her husband is Kazu who Matt has been chatting with a bunch (whoa, i sound like Nathaniel). This is Yoco's dog. Kazu put his lei around his neck, his name is Toy.

This dog was hysterical. He's so tiny but hasn't really noticed. He was chasing wiffle balls around for like 3 hours.

Anyway, Yoco has a cool story. She straight Japanese but sounds completely american when she speaks. Like you would never know that she was Japanese if you were speaking to her in English. She has two modes, Japanese mode and then white american mode. Matt and I were like, what? how does she do it?

Well, turns out that she went to school in the US for 10 months. But get this, she went to an all black college in Charlotte, North Carolina. Totally love it! She loved going there and really wants to visit the US again. Hopefully they will make it to Hawaii. She has one daughter who is super cute!

Matt is magnet man. Everybody loves him!

The game suitcase and my beer tea!

These girls were inseparable!

 After the game day, the Pfeils, Aki, Yoco and some other dude came with us to see a bit of Tokyo. We went to this cool plaza area on the water and hung out there while we waiter for the boat taxi to take us back to the other side of town.

Statue of Liberty. No one is really sure why this here.

 Kua`aina burger anyone?


The plaza place

 There's a better shot of Kua`aina

and Lady Liberty

It was such a beautiful day

Waiting in line for the boat

Off we go

This is me and Yoco

Then we stood around for like 20 minutes while the "adults" decided what to do. I took a picture.

Ha! I've seen this before

East meets West Tree

So Grace City Church is also starting Grace Harbor Church. GHC is hoping to maybe rent out this restaurant to hold its services... so we ate dinner there!

But before we went for a walk to kill time. It was only like 4pm

Dinner was great! The menu was complety in Japanese and while i know how to say, "What is this?" that does nothing if you can't understand the answer.


Matt's food looked amazing, this place was like glorifed American food. Nathaniel and I had burgers, Matt has spaghetti, and MaryAnne had these sizzling mushrooms which looked really cool.

The place was really neat.

After dinner

we headed back to the hotel. The guys headed off the "spa" with the guys. MaryAnn and I crashed! Well, I'm on my computer doing this... she's sleeping.

So some recap! I love Japan! The city is so modern, clean, beautiful, and the people are by far the nicest people I have ever met. Such a pleasure to be here.