Happy New Year!

Hello and Happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I did! I can’t believe the first decade of the 2000′s is over already. I think 2010 will be a great year, and I’m excited to spend my first full year in Japan.
During our winter vacation, Kendra’s younger sister, Cara, came to visit us. She came to Obihiro on December 24th. We took her to many great restaurants and went to Lake Akan for one night. Then, on December 28th we flew to Tokyo. We spent 5 nights in the big city and we had a great time. Even though I had been to the airports in Tokyo before this visit, I had never actually been to Tokyo. We did a lot of sightseeing, ate a lot of good food, and enjoyed the warm weather!
Here are some pictures from our trip:
The day after we arrived in Tokyo, December 29th, was Kendra’s 25th birthday! I don’t know if people do this in Japan, but sometimes boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives/mothers/fathers/sons/daughters make breakfast for their loved ones and serve it to them while they are still in bed. We call it “breakfast-in-bed.” Since I couldn’t cook Kendra an amazing breakfast in the hotel room, I had to be creative. Here is what I “made” her for her birthday “breakfast-in-bed”
After the delicious breakfast, we went to Asakusa. We saw the giant lantern in front of the Sensoji Temple:
Then we went to Omotesando with Kendra’s middle school Japanese teacher, Daryl. He lives in Tokyo now with his wife and two children, so we met him twice during our trip. On the 29th, he showed us around Asakusa, Omotesando, and Harajuku. This picture of Kendra, Cara, and Daryl is inside of a fancy shopping mall in Omotesando:
At night on Kendra’s birthday, we went to the Tokyo Icebar. It is in Ginza and the bar is made of ice! It’s very cold inside, so they give you a big parka and gloves to stay warm. We each got a drink in an ice glass. Here are the sisters with our drinks:
And here are all three of us:
On New Year’s Day, we went to the Yasukuni Shrine. It was VERY crowded, so we couldn’t go up to the front. Here is a picture from the side:
After visiting the shrine, we went to the Tokyo Tower:
Our last day in Tokyo was January 2nd, one of two days during the year that the Imperial Palace is open to the public. We went inside the palace, but we didn’t have time to wait for the Emperor to make an appearance. However, it was still exciting to be inside the palace gates. Here is a picture of Kendra and Cara inside the front gate in the area where the Emperor was going to speak:
We had a great time in Tokyo! If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Also, I think 2010 will be a lucky year because the skies around Tokyo were totally clear on both New Year’s Day and January 2nd and we could see Mt. Fuji! I was excited because it was the first time that I had seen the beautiful mountain. Here is a picture from our hotel room window:

by Iuchi / 2010-01-11 2:58 PM / Past Teachers









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