Monday, April 28, 2008

In Japan - More Pictures

I haven't had as much time as I'd like to get new blog posts out for everyone. We've been busier on vacation than I thought we'd be. It's been fun, though. We've seen a lot of friends and family whom we haven't seen in a long time. For one of them I think it's been about 3 1/2 years. Anyway, by the time I've gotten home and spent time getting the kids fed and to bed I've usually run out of gas myself. It's been more than one night where I've laid down on the bed to read a book while I've waited for Christopher to fall asleep only to wake up an hour later realizing I should have left the book on the dresser. I'm writing this at about 11:20 pm Monday night here in Japan. Once again I don't have a lot of time to write out a "journal" of the events of the past several days. I would like to share a number of pictures with you, however. You can always find these pictures, and more, by visiting my Flickr site and checking out the 2008 Japan Pictorial collection.

Back home we've been complaining about the rising cost of gas. In Japan one liter of regular fuel costs 132 yen. That equates to approximately $5 a gallon. I suppose we're not as bad off as we thought.

I've picked up this same brand of vitamins at the local grocery store back home. I was surprised to find them in Japan, though not surprised how much more expensive they were here.

I thought this small freight truck had a unique design. The sides actually open up like a hatch, allowing full access to one side of the freight container at a time. It seems a little easier to get to your cargo than if you can only open the rear doors.

We ate at a Denny's restaurant here in Japan. Christopher enjoys going to Denny's back home with Grandma and Grandpa, so he wanted to go to the one here as well. We were surprised to find baby food on the menu. Also, Christopher and Nanami both got these little egg toys. Each one had a little penguin character inside. They also go puzzle to take with them. I was fairly impressed...with the service, not the food.

Recycling is taken very seriously here. This is just a small example of the different types of things that are recycled, including paper, cans, plastic bottles, and burnable garbage. When I was living here I had one closet that contained about ten different containers for all the different things that are separated and recycled here.

This is the back of an ATM machine that is located in a 7-Eleven. The name of the store in Japan is actually 7 & i-holdings, after 7-Eleven merged with Ito Yokado, a Japanese department store chain.

Here's a train we had to stop for while we were traveling to church this past Sunday. Every vehicle is required by law to stop at every single railroad crossing.

I was surprised to see this RV. Vehicles of this size are not very common in Japan. This one belonged to the All Japan Kickboxing Federation.

I hope you enjoyed this sampling of pictures that I've taken. I actually have a lot of additional ones that I think you'll enjoy, but they're still on the camera. I will be transferring them to the computer tonight, however. I need to make room for all of the pictures I'll be taking in Ginza tomorrow.

We'll be taking the train for a 2-hour ride up to Ginza for the national holiday tomorrow. Rihoko's uncle Hirokazu is an artist, and he has an exhibition in Ginza. We will then head over to one of the many upscale department stores to meet a college friend of mine and his wife. The afternoon will be spent having a late lunch and visiting with our friends. Our return to Ajiro will most likely be dictated by the tolerance our kids have for the crowds and the travel. I'll hope to have some pictures from that trip up later this week.

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