Sunday, April 29, 2007

Out & About in Japan

Okay, so in the past 2 weeks that we've been in Japan, we've started to do a little exploring. One of the first things Jason and I found was a park just around the corner from our downtown apartment. And a pretty cool park, at that. It's got a whole play structure with slides and bridges, etc. Then it has a swingset, and a HUGE jungle gym, which was Jason's favorite. One day while we were there, there was a little Japanese girl, who couldn't have been more than a year and a half old, who followed Jason around everywhere, trying to do everything he did. She couldn't quite keep up, but they both had a great time with her trying.

On our first Saturday in Japan, Jared decided to get us out of our little neighborhood and show us what lay just a few subway stops away. So we headed down to Sakuragicho Station, where there's lots of shopping, and a little amusement park. Of course, Jason quickly found the Thomas the Train ride. Now every time we head in the general direction of Sakuragicho, he starts talking about going to ride on Thomas. "I NEED to ride Thomas, Mommy!" Whatever.

In the same little park as Thomas the Train, is this colossal ferris wheel. It's over 100 meters high. They call it the Cosmo Clock (it has an enormous clock on one side of it). Jared insisted that we go on it. Bad idea. First of all, I'm terrified of heights. Second, it's INCREDIBLY s l o w - m o v i n g! Third, it got really windy at the top. Let's just say I all but had a panic attack. Jason didn't seem to mind though. In fact, we couldn't get him to look at the camera because he was so occupied with looking down at the view. Every time he sees the Cosmo Clock, he wants another ride on it as well.

This is a picture of the Cosmo Clock at night. We thought it was pretty cool.

After 2 weeks of Japanese food, I was ecstatic when we discovered a TGI Friday's. We ate there two days in a row. The ladies that worked there absolutely adored Jason. In fact, the second time we came, when they saw him coming, one of them knelt down on the floor, her arms wide. Jason ran to her and jumped in her arms. She carried him all the way while she led us to our table. Then they brought him sodas, and crayons, and coloring pages, and balloons, and other treats. He seems to have that effect on all the people here. I don't think we've gone on a single elevator ride that didn't end with all the occupants waving and saying, "Bye-bye, Jason!" It's hilarious. As soon as someone looks at him, he starts telling them his life story, despite the fact that most of them can't understand a word of English.

On our way home from TGI Friday's the other night, it was a bit windy, and Jason absolutely refused to let it take his balloon. So he walked all the way from the restaurant to the subway station very carefully, concentrating all the while on holding onto his balloon. Jared and I thought it was pretty funny, especially since he already had another balloon at home from our first trip to Friday's!

Needless to say, our little Thomas the Train fanatic is extremely fond of the subway. According to him, they're fantastic, because not only do you get to ride a train, but they also have monkey bars to play on! Since he discovered the hand-bars for the passengers who stand up, he's insisted on Jared holding him up so that he can hang and climb on them. These subway people are geniuses!

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