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Chris Weldon

A savvy software engineer and agilist, Chris slings code in C#, but has also been known for commanding fleets of systems. He's currently a Tech Lead at Wolters Kluwer.

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This is a continuation of the previous entry in my Journal because it was so long to read…

After the ride, we went and bought more trinkets for family and friends and somewhat liesured around while waiting for 17:30 to come. It was pretty much dark at 16:45 and when we went up into the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse we saw some impressive sights of Tokyo. It was relaxing and enjoyable.

We then headed over to Splash Mountain. We tried getting on 10 minutes before the fastpass would allow us to, but the ticketing lady would not. We stood off to the side and waited and watched other fastpass holders come through. Our turn finally came & we were in line maybe 10 minutes before getting on the ride. It was pretty fun and we didn’t get very wet, which made Melissa happy.

We concluded the night with a peaceful and enjoyable ride aboard the steamboat. This was my favorite ride because 1) I didn’t have to wait in lines and 2) I got to talk with Nissa and see humorous things like Ducks acting like Dolphins. We left the park afterwards to pick up a Stitch coffee mug for myself and a keychain for my sister. We then rode the bus to the Sunroute plaza hotel. It was a western style hotel with the Japanese hospitality thrown in. Our bags (that we dropped off before checking into Disney) had been brought to our rooms & the room was quite cozy. We stuck around for a few minutes before going downstairs for a big dinner. It was buffet style with things like German potatoes & crab, as well as curry & lo mein. Twas an enjoyable and fattening meal.

When we retired to our room (which had a view of Disneyland), fireworks began at Disneyland. Melissa turned off the lights and we sat and watched the display that lasted for about 10 minutes. It was the perfect night to conclude our Honeymoon. We repacked gifts after talking and went to bed.

So, day 10 (the last day of doing stuff in Japan) started well. We woke up @ 7:30, got ready, and were @ the JR train station by 9:10AM. We caught a rapid train to Tokyo Station & then another rapid to Shinagawa. We arrived @ 10AM, 30 minutes early to meet Keiko-san. We got a pastry for breakfast & went on to the meeting point. At about 10:25 Keiko came to us and we introduced ourselves. She was suprised we had brought so much luggage, but we told her we would deal with it and headed to the Shyuuji Place. The place was not far at all from Shinagawa station, but it was up a hill. We arrived and put our bags away. We prayed before entering the main hall to meet the infamous Takizawa-sensei.

We were introduced to him when we walked into the room. If you can imagine a gymnasium-sized room with black mats spread all around & paper everywhere with Shyuuji on it… that was the setup of the room. Back to Takizawa-sensei though. He was not as old looking as I thought he would be, and he was nimble for an 80-something year old. He spoke only Japanese & after saying a few things to us he handed me something saying “Presento”. It was a brush. It was something I was not expecting, especially considering it was a very nice brush. After that he handed us something else as presents with the Kanji for truth and peace written on it. They were very nice gifts & we will enjoy them lots! After giving us the gifts, he introduced us to a younger male (probably about our age) who told Keiko who told us he wanted to introduce us to everyone. We agreed & went to the front where they turned on the mic & started speaking to everyone. Takizawa-sensei then got on with his big bellowing voice & made an announcement. Keiko told us that he was saying how happy and proud he was that we came from the United States all the way to Japan and came to visit them. He handed us the mic, and we said “Yoroshiku-onegashimasu” and bowed. From then on, we were being given the upmost respect from everyone in there. When we walked to the back of the room, everyone was smiling and bowing at us. It made me so happy that we were finally getting respect from Japanese who weren’t in service positions. We sat down near where Takizawa-sensei was at & he readied a new sheet of paper (long) to help us write Kanji. I was first. I sat down against the small table and he leaned over me, having me hold the brush as he wrote. This is the teaching style. After I finished, he did this with Melissa. It was very interesting and a wonderful experience. We were then given a sheet each & did the peace character (by ourselves). I was nervous in front of them as Melissa and I had not practiced in 6 months or so. My character had its share of problems, but it didn’t turn out that bad. Same for Melissa.

Takizawa-sensei would normally have checked and reviewed it, but he was busy with other things. He said to take it back to Kazuko to review. With that, we said our goodbyes (which were very passionate & included handshakes!) and departed. They allowed us to leave our bags there for the day.

We then jumped on the subway to our next stop, Asakusa. This was where one of Tokyo’s famous temples was at, as well as a lot of shopping. We first got sushi @ one of the small sushi bars close by. This was the one with rotating trays where you pick up a plate with 2 pieces & at the end you pay for the number of plates you had. The sushi was AMAZING! We tried fatty tuna (which was so soft & delightful it melted in my mouth) as well as tomago (egg), salmon - which was a bright orange, unlike the slight orange in the states, as well as so tender. We had 4000 Yen worth, which was a lot of sushi. In the states, the same amount would run about $80, or more. Keiko was kind enough to pay for all of it.

(To be continued in part 3…)