Sunday, June 26, 2005

Real life in Japan - Visiting the Nishikubo's

As a wonderful end to our trip, dad's friend Takeshi Nishikubo invited us over to his house in the town of Motokaji, about an hour outside of Tokyo by train, where Nishi-san grew up.

Nishi met us at the train station and drove us over to the local supermarket (where Nishi's wife, Kazue, works part-time) to pick up food for lunch. Japan has changed quite a bit in the last decade - the supermarket was just like a SuperTarget (except it had an entire aisle dedicated to ramen noodles to Jon's delight) and the gas station was self-serve. Nishi picked up tempura shrimp and squid and sushi to go with the soba noodles he was to prepare for lunch.

We returned to his house where his ten year old son Ryo was waiting for us. The Nishikubo's have a lovely home with a comfortable family room, dining area, and kitchen where we spent most of our time. Ryo and Jon hit it off quickly speaking the international language of Nintendo Game Boy DS. Jon transferred a game over to Ryo's game boy and soon the two were sitting on the couch competing quietly with each other. After Nishi finished making lunch, his thirteen year old son, Takumi, arrive home from Sunday tutoring and joined us for lunch also. Takumi has just started learning English in school and was able to greet us and ask and answer several questions directly - he's a quick learner.

After a delicious lunch, Ryo left for his six hours of Sunday tutoring, and Takumi and Jon connected once again in the international language of electronic gaming. Kazue came home from work, and we enjoyed a nice conversation about our visit to Japan and their visits to the U.S. Nishi and Takumi took Jon and I on a walk around his town including visits to a local Buddhist temple and a Shinto shrine. We ended the visit with a trip to the Hano train station while Jon and Takumi played rock-paper-scissors, thumbfight, and the hand-slap game in the back seat giggling the whole way.

Thank you Nishikubo's!

Jon and I returned to Shinjuku to pick up our luggage and moved to a hotel in Ginza. We walked around that night and later crashed in our hotel after watching a true "B" movie - "Lethal".

No comments: