Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The last few days have been awesome! My Mom arrived intact and international-incident free. Not that she seems particularly prone to such things. In fact her luck has been pretty amazing in one respect. She has this unbelievable streak going right now involving all buses and trains that we are trying to catch. Every single time, we just make the train or it comes within 1 minute. It’s great! Way better than the terrible streak I was on with the foursome’s visit where we would miss a train or bus by a minute or less. Every.Single.Time. Not that it was the worst thing in the world, but it did get a little old.

*SNOOZE* OMG, when is she going to stop talking about trains and buses?! Now, friend! Never fear!

So after meeting up at the Yokosuka train station on Friday, Mom and I headed up to Yokohama for a lovely sushi go-round experience. It was great, although more for me than her. I had a serious sushi craving after 5 days on the ship. She had already been to a sushi go-round earlier that day and even though she wanted sushi for dinner as well, the lunchtime one was a little more to her taste (one word: shrimp. Ok, five more: without attached heads and tails).

The next day, we headed out to Hakone. The Open Air museum was awesome. That place is just so neat! All those works of art, out in the elements. While the interaction between art and nature interests me with the idea of borrowed scenery (shakkei), I am fascinated by the idea exposing expensive pieces of art to corrosive and erosive elements. I mean, I guess it’s been done for ages with fountain statues and the like, but there’s something about that much metal exposed to mountain weather that seems different.

After the Open Air Museum, we went on the mountain cable car where we learned a new Japanese word, “SAGOY!!” We hiked around on top (Owaku-dani station) and I bought eggs hardboiled in the sulfur springs, which turns the shell black. No real difference on the inside although they were a little over-hard-boiled. But now I’m going to live 7 years longer. Oh yeah baby.

We reboarded the cable car and went to the last stop, Togendai. There we took a sightseeing boat ride on Lake Ashi (Ashi-no-ko). The ship was modeled on a 17th century pirate ship. More importantly, Mom and I each had a chu-hi. Delicious. Welcome to Japan! The classy side of it, I mean.

 [“Oh, ho, ho ho” you belly-laugh. “When is she going to let us in on the joke about classiness and chu-his?” Well, chu-his are a mix of shochu (sweet potato alcohol) and a mixer, usually citrus although I really like oolong (tea)-his. And chu-his, at least among my friends, are rarely associated with classiness. More like, “Whoa! Those totally snuck up on me!”]

After our Hakone adventures, we went out for Indian food that was tasty, but nothing spectacular. If we have time, I really want to bring her to Nirvana in Yokosuka. That place is AMAZING!!

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