Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tokyo Disney Sea

As our time here winds down--I can hardly believe 3 years is almost over, we are trying to make the most of our last 2 months and doing everything we can.  Last week, Eric took off a day and we took the kids to Disney Sea.  Tokyo is the only place where they have it, so that was pretty cool.  We had a great time--the kids LOVED it.  It is very different from Tokyo Disney--most of the rides are based around a water theme and the big Disney show was on the water and was spectacular.  The other fun part was that we were pretty much the only non-Japanese people there.  We had so many Japanese people come up and touch the kids hair, especially Kailey--she got swarmed a couple of times.  The kids are pretty use to people wanting to touch their hair (the japanese like it because it is blondish) and tell them how cute they are.  Also, it was interesting to hear all the Disney songs in Japanese--it was a little bizarre to be on all these rides and it is all in Japanese and have like Ariel singing "Part of this World" in Japanese--crazy!!  Anyways, here are some pictures from our fun day!

Eric and the kids in Ariel's grotto

All of us on the merry-go-round

The big show on the water--it was great!

Kailey is in love with characters in costumes

This bird LOVED Kailey--held her hand and walked around with her and then kissed her

Riding in the police car!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Setsubun Festival

This summer I started attending a class off base twice a month.  It is a small class, we meet in the bottom of a japanese apartment building and we do what is called kimekomi.  Kimekomi is a japanese craft where you make fabric covered balls and dolls (it sounds weird, but is really fun).  Anyways, there are usually about 4-5 american women and we meet with 7-8 japanese women.  Their husbands are all retired japanese navy and the women all speak excellent english.  We all sit together and work on our balls or dolls and then we eat lunch.  The japanese provide lunch and americans bring dessert.  Lunch is the best part, it is always so fun to see what they make and we eat some amazing things and we also have a lot of fun conversations.  They ask us about American things and we ask our japanese questions.  Anyways, back in february they took us on a field trip to one of the shrines in Kamakura for Setsubun festival.

Setsubun is the day before the beginning of Spring, always celebrated on February 3rd.  One of their traditions is that they throw roasted soybeans.  The soybeans celebrate luck and keep evil spirits away.  So at all the major shrines they have big festivals and bring in celebrities to throw beans at you.  Where we were we had a sumo wrestler, an actor, a writer, a weather woman, etc. that threw the beans along with some priests.  Usually the japanese are so orderly and nice, but this was the one time they weren't. What would happen is a whistle would be blown and they celebrities would start throwing beans to the crowd--as they threw beans it was wild.  I had little old men and women shoving me out of the way to catch beans--it was like being in a mosh pit.  If you get certain packets of beans you can win a prize--the big prizes were t.v.s, rice cookers, etc.  I won a set of 5 pairs of chopsticks--they are very nice.  This was one of the most interesting festivals I had been to, but I LOVED it--we had a blast.

The celebrities with their boxes of beans to throw

Getting ready to throw.

The crowd ready with their bags

Tokyo Baseball Game

I don't know why Kailey and I have our eyes closed!

A couple of weeks ago we went with some of Eric's coworkers to see the Seattle Mariners play the Hanashin Tigers in the Tokyo Dome.  We have been to a couple of Japanese baseball games before and they are SOOOOO much more exciting than American baseball games, which I find rather boring sometimes.  Japanese baseball fans are fanatics.  Each team has specific songs or chants and ALL the fans know the songs.  The games are loud, the people have plastic bats they bang together, it is just a lot of fun.  Eric and I weren't sure how the kids would like it, but they LOVED it.  Here are some pictures from our fun time!!