Monday, June 25, 2012

Japan - Day 5

    This morning we are going to try to find the local ward and go to church.  James dresses in white shirt and tie (slightly spoiled by the shorts) I have my skirt and sandals.  Keiko fixes us a lovely breakfast of "hotdog pancake"- homemade pancakes.  She proudly serves real Maple syrup brought by a Canadian guest and is surprised that we use it so sparingly- evidently  the Canadian dumped it on with abandon.  (She should meet Rob.) She also serves Japanese sausages- which are delicious.  They remind me of our Vienna sausages a bit.
     Katsuo walks us to the ward building, which is only about 20 minutes away.  We are so excited about meeting local ward members, maybe some American missionaries, who knows.  We meet- no one!  The parking lot and building are empty and we can only assume that, as has been our luck before, we have arrived precisely in time for Stake Conference.  C'est la vie.
     We walk back and Keiko takes us to a local store that sells women's handicrafts- lots of lovely handmade items at good prices.  She says her shelf is empty currently, but shows me pictures of some cute penguins she made to benefit the tsunami victims.  I get 2 very cute drawstring bags.  Then we go upstairs to have a soft drink.  It is a very cute place with little aquariums on the tables and a fresh breeze blowing through.  I could stay there all day.  Everyone compliments James on his accent.  Keiko has to leave for the dentist.  (Japanese dentists work on Sunday??!!)  We go home and pack up.  Katsuo insists on leaving us his phone so that we can make calls in an emergency and the key in case we arrive back (we're staying our last night with them- July 3rd) when they are not home.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  We are overwhelmed by our hosts' generosity in sharing not only their home but also their time and possessions so generously with us.
Keiko's lovely breakfast for fish-weary me!

At a cafe with Keiko before we left for Maihama

That's a lot of stairs carrying 2 suitcases- and not an escalator in sight...

All dressed up for church- but it was Stake Conference.  Rats.

     Now it is time for James to try to get us to Maihama- where we need to go for Tokyo Disney.  This involves a transfer involving many many stairs with the escalator not working.  James carries both our roller bags and his backpack.  I tell him how buff he is getting.  Strangely, this just makes him crabbier.  After several false starts, we make it to the Disney Resort Office, where everything is closing up for the night.  We finally find someone to tell us where to find the bus for the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel- confusing because there are several Tokyo Bay Hotels and I couldn't remember for  a moment whether we were at the Hilton or the Sheraton.  After checking my notes, we made it to the right one.  It is a big beautiful hotel with a generic room with a large tub and 2 comfortable queen beds, but I am already missing Keiko and Katsuo's little room with its thin futon.  Close the doors, and we could just as well be in Detroit. Wi Fi is available only in a tiny room in the lobby, which is full of kids getting loud updates on their video games- I can see I won't be posting much for a while.

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