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My Trip to the Orient - Part 3

Editor’s Note: This series of articles is taken from a diary kept by Nikkei Canadian Alyssa Erin Woo, then ten years old, during her trip to Japan with her grandparents.

Part 2 >>

Friday, July 1, 2005 - Off to Saitama-ken!

Today is Canada Day!  Too bad I’m going to miss it.

Denny’s for breakfast again!  We were probably their  #1 customers!

Tsujiki Fish Market

This morning, we went to Tsujiki Fish Market.  It’s the largest fish market in the world!  There were many different types of fish that I’ve never seen or heard of before.  It was interesting, but very smelly.  Ba-chan was wishing she came here for breakfast instead of going to Denny’s.

Ji-chan wanted to take me to the Kabuki Theatre (all men actors) or the Takarazuka (all women actors) but they were all closed.  I wanted to see a show called Cats but seats were all sold out.

For lunch we didn’t go to Denny’s but the waitresses were probably wondering where we were.  Instead we went to the old traditional Japanese restaurant, the previous first restaurant we went to. 

After, we waited at the Hotel for Yuko-chan (Ba-chan’s niece) and her husband, Yu-san to pick us up to go to Konosu City in Saitama-ken.   When they arrived, we took a taxi to the train station.  On the train, Yu-san taught me some cool “magic” card tricks.

Next, Emiko-san, Yuko-chan’s mom, also Ba-chan’s sister-in-law picked us up and drove us to her house.  We ate supper and Yuko-chan showed me some Japanese manga (comic books) for me to read.  I enjoyed looking at the pictures, even though they were written in Japanese.

Dinner prepared by Emiko-san & Yuko-chan

* * *

Saturday, July 2, 2005 – Visiting Uncle Machi’s Grave

Today, we went to the flower shop and I picked some flowers for Uncle Machi’s grave.  I picked some nice pink flowers for him.  Machi was Ba-chan’s youngest brother and Emiko-san’s husband.  He was an English Educational Director for NHK Broadcasting Corporation, but cancer took his life at age 63.

Kiyoko-chan (Emiko-san’s oldest daughter) and her husband, Shinichi-san (nickname: Bear), Yuko-chan and Yu-san came to visit Uncle Machi’s grave too. 

Uncle Machi's grave site at Arai

After we laid the flowers at Uncle Machi’s grave, we ate lunch at an udon soba restaurant in Kawagoe-shi, a restored town for tourists.  I ordered ramen, but couldn’t finish, so Sinichi-san, who was still hungry, told me that if I wasn’t going to finish, he would eat it for me!

Udon for lunch at Kawagoe

I sat on a rickshaw and got my picture taken, but I didn’t get a ride.

Later we went shopping where I bought a fan, doll, a kaleidoscope and a lot more.

Outside, we saw a Japanese dog that was rolling on its back showing off in front of everyone.  I guess he was really itchy as he kept trying to scratch his back on the ground!

Next, we went to North Konosu, a shopping centre.  Yu-san, Yuko-chan and Emiko-san bought food for dinner at the grocery store.  Shinichi (or Bear) whichever you would like to call him, was a loveable comedian and made everyone burst into laughter.  He showed Ji-chan and I where to buy manga.  We found some English translated Doraemon (Gadget Cat from the future) manga for Brandon, Daniel, Josh, Felix and I.  They are really funny and hilarious comic books. We also played a game called Sweet Land 4, but only won three candies for ¥100.  The game was deceiving!  There were big candies in there and it looked like you were going to win them so you keep putting more money in to play, but all you get is a handful of small candies.  Maybe next time I’ll get a big candy!

Yu-san, Yuko-chan and Emiko-san met up with us and all eight of us squeezed into a photo booth and got our pictures taken.  We got to pick our backgrounds, choose designs and sign our names on the photos.  It was COOL!

Part 4 >>

**All photographs are courtesy of the author.

© 2010 Alyssa Erin Woo

Canadian identity trip