Tokyo - Part 1

Oktober 2006

The past few weeks my parents have traveled through japan. As I did not take a summer holiday this year, for me it was also a great opportunity to get away from work for a while. It was not really relaxing for me however, as of course I guided them around and thus had to practice my language skills quite a bit. In the mean time I tried to attend as many as possible language courses, which worked out quite fine I think.

We started out in Tokyo, at the exposition of the ikebana (flower arrangement) world convention. As my mother practices Ikebana in the Netherlands, it was quite interresting to see the master pieces made here. After that, some more Tokyo sightseeing and Kamakura (and Nikko national park for my parents) I joined them for a week Hakone-Kyoto-Koyasan after which I returned to Tokyo and my parents went on with some more days Kyoto and Kyushu (Mt. Aso/Kumamoto) as they had a JR railpass and could thus travel by train & shinkansen for free.

Ikebana flower arrangement. Motto: few flowers and some props

Lots of women in traditional wear taking pictures of the master pieces

One of the many corridors with arrangements

Picture from the sogetsu (Ikebana school) building by night. The trees in the front are at the Akasaka palace, the lights in the back are the Shinjuku skyscrapers.

Shichi-go-san at Meiji Jingu shrine. Shichi-go-san (7-5-3) is a special festival where children of 7, 5 and 3 years old pray for their well-being.

Your average sunday at Harajuku...

When he heard that my parents would come to Japan, my professor invited them for lunch. After quickly showing them the campu, having a coffee with Tobi and showing my lab, we met him and went to a restaurant on the campus.

At LaQua, the amusement park next to Tokyo Dome (Korakuen), there is a water symphony ("fountains dancing on classical music") at 20:00 and 21:30 I think. Tobi and Mae Rose had been there before and recommended it. It was well worth the visit. After that we had dinner in an Indian restaurant there.

Overview of the LaQua building, including ferris wheel and rollercoaster