Rachel in Tokyo

This is a blog about an American law school student studying in Tokyo for the semester.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My Japanese Family


This is probably the most emotional post I've made to date. I need to express how important my "adopted" family was to me while I was in Tokyo, and still is, while I am over 7,000 miles away!

They were so good to me! Sometimes, I would go to Sanae's house hungry, because I had not eaten all day, but I would go home full, because she would always cook a fantastic meal.
I love them like they were my own family. They, in turn, took me in as their "adopted". When I left, they told me that they thought I was "Japanese" moreso than I was "American". Now, don't get me wrong, I would give my own blood if it meant saving the colors on the flag, but to tell the truth, I completely relate to Japanese culture! I love America, it is my home. However, I would be very happy living in Japan, as well! So, here is my KAMEIDO FAMILY.
Here is TINY-CHAN (pronounced: "tinny"..., short for DES-TIN-Y, which Sanae thought that finding him for her family WAS destiny!
I wanted to give Arshiya her very first pet (well, aside from the carnival-goldfish they had won a week earlier). I found "Tinny" at a local bird shop in Ueno. They love Tinny very much. At first, Tinny was extremely quiet. But during my last couple of visits to Kameido, he started making some noises.

Hideki thought I made a really strong drink! Well, pretty much all the time. Hmmmm...sounds familiar to my friends in the States!

Sanae took us to this FABULOUS buffet restaurant in Shinagawa near the aquarium.

This seal was amazing!

Sanae always had the most beautiful flowers in her foyer.

Kameido is famous for this red bridge.

When this lady started feeding the fish and turtles. Everyone came to the bridge to watch.

Aimee is always hammin' it up!

The porpoises jumped really high to reach the balloons at the top!

The hyacinth is probably the most famous flower in Kameido. Every year, they bloom at a particular time, and they have a festival devoted to the hyacinth.

The kids made me these BEAUTIFUL masterpieces for me and gave them to me the last night I was there.

POSIN'! Mami is showing off her modelling talents!

OK. NOW SAY: "SHORT PANTS!" (haha. inside joke...)

Hideki is my BIG BROTHER. He is learning English. I bought him an iPod Nano as a going away present, so we can exchange voice-files to help each other along in learning English and Japanese. I bouth the iPod U2 special edition for myself.

On the way to the Japanese buffet, we went to a festival in Kameido. It was so much fun. In Japan, Summertime is festival time. There must be 2 or 3 festivals every week. The fireworks in August are amazing. We saw a fireworks show through the window of the restaurant.

This Saturday was my last Saturday with the Kameido family. To make the most of it, I met up with Mami and her kids at Tokyo Dome City, where a gigantic ferris wheel and a monster roller coaster awaited us!

First, we went up in the Ferris wheel. Mami's brother went with Asanari and his little boy (the boys), and then Mami and I went with Aimee and Ayaka (the girls). We made funny faces with them the whole ride up and down, whenever we could see their cabin.

Then I managed to talk Asanari into going on the MONSTER COASTER with me! It was his FIRST TIME on a BIG ADULT ROLLER COASTER!

He was so scared beforehand that he had to go to the little boys room TWICE! But once we were on the coaster, and started breaking speeds of 100 miles an hour, he thought it was SO COOL!

You're probably wondering why these pictures are here. Let me explain. In Tokyo, they have more than one "use" for a MECHANICAL BULL. YES, THIS IS A MECHANICAL BULL EXERCISE MACHINE! I never thought I would see such a piece of workout equipment. To me, it was absolutely hysterical.



Every night I would go to Kameido to teach, there would be this row of bicycles. It was so cute. Just a little family, all in a row, each member represented with their own two wheels.

Sanae's neighbors enjoy flowers as well. In fact, on my way to her house, I would notice all of the beautiful flowers blooming. Each month, there would be different blooms.

This is an OUTDOOR FISH AQUARIUM. Sanae's neighbor has goldfish in this tank, and waterlillies on top. During the day you can really see them, at night, however, visibility is impossible.

Every year, the Kameido Shrine holds a festival where they light up the bridge like this picture.

The Hiacynth at this temple is beautiful!

The buildings in this shrine are so decorative. Here are famous dragons protecting the gods inside.

Ravenous Turtles!

These turtles were so hungry!

The shrine in Kameido is known for its hyacinth.

The shrine is also famous for its "red bridges".

Gate to the shrine/ Gate to the city.

Aerial view of the shrine.



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