random memories of Japan

Apr 15th, 2005, 04:49 AM
  #1  
emd
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random memories of Japan

It's Friday, I've been back 3 wks., and I miss Japan. I dumped every piece of paper from the planning and from the trip into a box and am starting to go through it, hopefully for a scrapbook. I came across my little purse notebook from the trip this morning and found some random things I had jotted down during the trip...here goes...

the taste of lychee nuts

hearing "irrasshimase" 50 times a day, like a chant

bright orange moss in Ohara

the ring of my Vodaphone

sitting on a heated toilet seat for the first time

my son's face when we walked out of the station onto the street in Akihabara

There are alot more. Anyone else have any random memories hanging around the shadows of their mind?
emd is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 08:39 PM
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emd! I have thought of you and wondered how the trip went.
I see (after a search) that you posted a report in this forum, I will read it in the morning. I am sure it will be fascinating!
I loved reading this, I would like to send it to my son, he will get a kick out of it, especially the heated toilet seat
Welcome back (3 weeks ago)
Scarlett is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 04:36 AM
  #3  
emd
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Hi Scarlett! This trip was wonderful. The heated toilet seats are so amazing.

I am missing Japan by myself as my son is away for the weekend. So thanks very much for the reply.

I found out yesterday that a friend and former work colleague of mine, a lawyer in his early 30s, has quit his job (at a top notch firm, where I used to work) and is leaving this July to go teach English in Japan! So now I will know someone living in the country, which is pretty exciting.

I really miss Japan big time. "I got it bad" as the song goes...

A few more random memories:

finding myself bowing for the first time without thinking about it

the automated machines going round and round in the shop windows making the little shaped pastries w/chocloate filling (I would give many many yen for one of those right now)

the video ads that we saw over and over in Tokyo trains- I can still see the aquarium one (w/a Japanese Shamu) and the dieting girl one perfectly in my mind.

sweet smell of incense at the shrines
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Apr 16th, 2005, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for more memories
My son will have been in Japan for 5 years, this August. He has been teaching English in Tokyo for the past 3 years ( he was in Utsunomiya before that) . It is a shock at first, but then, it is hard to leave. I would like to find out for myself !
Keep those random memories coming!
lovely~
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Apr 17th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Last time, I arrived in Japan at Toyama airport and it was snowing heavily. The flight was 9th of 10 flights that I was to take during that trip to Asia. The All Nippon Airways flight from Tokyo to Washington Dulles a few days later was to be the last one.

I took the city bus from Toyama airport to JR Toyama station to catch a train to Kanazawa. I was surprised to see that there was an ANA office about a half block down from the entrance to the train station. Decided to stop in and check on the flight time, etc., just to be sure nothing had changed. Also, I thought that I had changed my seat from a window to an aisle and I wanted to switch back to a window.

The ANA office was small with two young women sitting behind a long desk/ counter. I waited for one customer to finish her business and then sat down to talk to the ANA lady (applying the 10-year rule, my estimate is that she is 28 years old). She probably doesn't see that many gaijin at the Toyama office of ANA, but her English was good enough for me to explain.

She made a little printout of the two rows of seats in the first class cabin. It was a seat map and had mostly "X" at each seat location and "O" at 2 or 3 of the 12 seats. Figured that the Xs marked the seats that were taken and that 2A was open. She couldn't tell me what seat I had, but I asked her to just give me 2A. She couldn't do it, but I was happy enough having been reassured that I still had fc reservations and the flight date/time had not changed.

Walked a half block, or so, from the ANA office to the JR station. Crossed the small station to the ticket office and got in line to buy my ticket.

After a couple of minutes in line, the door to the ticket office opened and in walked the ANA lady. She had gotten up from her desk, left the office, and run half-way down the block in the cold and slush and into the JR office to find me just to explain that I already had seat 2A.
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Apr 17th, 2005, 03:58 PM
  #6  
emd
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oh gosh, that is so Japan.
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Apr 17th, 2005, 04:16 PM
  #7  
emd
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btw, mrw, my future inlaw did a good job today, although it fell apart for them after he left. I was there. It was fun. Not quite as fun as a game at the Dome, but fun.
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Apr 17th, 2005, 04:17 PM
  #8  
emd
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and another random memory- a whole Japanese family next to me in Tokyo Dome, little kids, teens, parents, 5 in all, all dressed to the nines in their Tiger's clothes and stuff, blowing out together at the game.
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Apr 17th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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The soulful chant of the sweet potato sellers.
A/D
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Apr 17th, 2005, 11:10 PM
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A/D, Iishi-yaaki-imo !
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Apr 18th, 2005, 03:48 AM
  #11  
emd
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oh, sweet potatoes, I had totally forgotten that! When we got out of Tokyo Tower it was so cold, and there was a little cart set up on a side street. I could see embers burning in a hole in the cart and couldn't figure out what it was. I walked over and asked what it was, and the man opened the foil and showed me the sweet potatoe. My son and I both got one, and they were so good and warm all the way back to the subway. Thanks for bringing that one up!

Kappa, I have to look up what that is (the chant, I am sure, but what does it mean? Sweet potatoes?)
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Apr 18th, 2005, 04:21 AM
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Hi emd, as A/D described, those sweet potato sellers often "chant" the name like saying "Iiishi Yaaaki imoo". The actual word is ishi-yaki-imo (ishi=stone, yaki=baked/grilled, imo = potatoe > sweet potatoes baked over hot stone)or some times they call it simply yaki-imo (like yaki tori=chicken). Today it's rare to find such street sellers but it used be the Japanese children's simple but favorite snack between meals.

Is your Japan blue better now? I hope your son is back so at least he can share it with you.
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Apr 18th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Hi. I am really glad you had a great time in Japan. It does grow on you, doesn't it.

While you were there, I hope you found a toilet seat that did more than keep your bottom warm. The fancy ones will wash (even fancier ones dispense soap too) and the even fancier ones lift up their lid automaticially when they sense your entering the john.

I get random memories of Japan everyday--every hour--I live here.

I love my bath, which automatically fills up at the pre-set water level (no running over tubs here), heats the water, sings to me that the bath is ready when heated and filled, and keeps it warm at the temperature I set until I am ready to soak--and I do all this by pushing a button on a panel in my kitchen.

If I ever have to move back to the States, I know I'll have fond memories of my automatic bath.

I hope you make it back again.

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May 5th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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I was on a JR local train somewhere between Kamakura and Odawara. The seat to my right was empty as were the two seats facing me. At a stop, three little girls, being tailed by a woman, boarded and occupied the three seats around me. They must have been about 7 yeares old.

Kodomono-hi omodeto

The girl across from me asked me three questions while the other two looked on with amazement and giggles.

After greeting, she asked me, carefully in English <my answer>:
Where are you from?
<Amerika>
ooohhhh
What is your name?
<Bill>
ooohhhh
What do you?
<hmm>
What do you?

<computah>
ooohhh

They were just so adorable.
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