So it has been a very full week with my parents here. They left today, back to the cold north, but first a stop in sunny LA to see my sister September.
Okay so for our very busy week:
Day 1: Parentals arrive and we head to Tokyo Dome City for dinner. Why? Because it is amazing and close to the hotel. My parents loved it!
Day 2: Morning tour of Tokyo- Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, Asakusa. We then went to my apartment which is walking distance from Asakusa temple. After a little rest and an Udon lunch we headed on the monorail to Odiba. There we checked out the futuristic Fugi building and the view of Tokyo from Tokyo Bay. As the parentals were fighting jet leg, pneumonia, and I a bad cold, we ate dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Shimokitizawa in the morning to see the funky neighbourhood that I wish to live in. Then to Shibuya to see the famous crossing, then a walk from Shibuya to Harajuku-Omotosando. Dad was very tired so Mom and I left him briefly at a cafe so that I could show Mom the Harajuku alleyways with the funky mixed crowd and cool shops. She loved it. Then it was back to the hotel for a rest, before heading back to Omotosando to see the fabulous shops (and fabulous in Japan is like Fabulous on 'e' in Canada) and to the Thai restaurant I went to for my birthday. I really had to push this evening outing but they loved it.
Day 4: Head to Kyoto, very cold wind, dinner at Kyoto station. We all loved the dinner and my parents were amazed by Kyoto station- it does take your breath away and when they decided to play classical music from the speakers as you go down the open escalators under the my blowing domed architecture, one really does feel like they are in a movie.
Day 5: Morning tour of Kyoto and afternoon trip to Nara. The Niji Castel was amazing- it was nice this time to see it on a guided tour. The Golden Pavilion and Shinto shrine (whose name I have forgotten) were beautiful. Nara was fabulous and the wild deer that just wander around were crazy fun to see. Nara is an ancient capital of Japan. My mom loved the history lesson we were all getting. Soo much to learn, soo much she didn't know! All the more reason to visit again...
Day 6: Morning at Kyoto Handicraft Center to buy buy buy. Then off to an Onsen. This is a tourist free, all Japanese Onsen. My parents got to see real Japan. After facials, foot massages, body massages, soaks in hot springs, and a light Japanese lunch we headed downtown to do the only thing that was so far missing from the full Japanese experience....that's right folks, KARAOKE!!! We sung our little hearts out for over an hour. Mom sang, Dad sang, and we had a great time. Then we walked to one of the main temple complexes downtown near Gion which had a lantern and flower arrangement festival going on. Truly magical. Then we rushed to Gion Corner to see a cultural show which gave us little tastes of Japanese cultural arts- tea ceremony, harp music, flower arrangement, court music, Geisha dance, and comedy theatre. Then it was back to the hotel where we all collapsed.
Day 7: Morning back to Kyoto Handicraft Center to do more shopping- the previous day's shopping only resulted in two purchases and lots of stress, so this one was all business with a 40min time limit. Dad and I went one way, Mom the other. Then it was back to the hotel for a final coffee together and a tearful goodbye.
Now they are flying over the great, way too large, Pacific on route to LA and then Toronto.
I am back in my apartment.
I loved seeing my parents. I was sad to have to say goodbye. I miss them lots. We really had such fun together.
I do however have JK's visit to look forward to. He arrives on Thursday evening. And then my friend Jenna comes sometime in April.
Pictures have been downloaded and will be posted soon.