Nakatani Apartment, Nagoya

This morning I left Matsudo, Ms. Yokoo accompanied me to Tokyo Station. We visited a bookstore for about an hour, then had lunch at a little Italian pasta shop. She saw me onto the train and I introduced her to Katie... they seemed to hit it off pretty well, but the train wasn't gonna wait for us so we had to say goodbye. I've had to say goodbye a lot in the past couple days, goodbyes suck.

This was the first time I've ridden a Shinkansen, I was on the Nozomi line. As we went through Tokyo it just sort puttered along at normal train speed, but after we stopped at Shinyokohama and picked Coral up the train sped up a bit. It was awesome. The most apt way of describing it is to imagine being in an airplane that stays near the ground. Most of the route is pretty urban, so you're seeing houses go by at hundreds of kilometers per hour, right outside the window. It was a really surreal feeling, one that I'd had hundreds of times in my dreams, but this was the first time I felt it while fully conscious. And I was only on the medium-speed Shinkansen, I wonder what the fastest one is like.

Unfortunately that kind of speed meant that my trip was over pretty fast. My new host mother, Ms. Nakatani, was waiting for me as I stepped off the train.

When I arrived at the Nakatani home (a sizable 8th floor apartment just a block away from the train station), I was greeted by approximately eight kids, all very eager to get to know me. I'm not exactly how many there were as they were moving too fast to count, but from what I understand three of them are my host siblings, the rest being members of Ms. Nakatani's Labo party.

They ranged in age from about two to six, and had a ton of energy. They started by dumping out a big bucket of Legos. I built a six-sided color spiral cylinder out of 4x2 bricks, they liked that. I taught my 6y/o host sister, Leona, how to build the structure, she was really into it.

The mothers were all there too. I presented my album, that went over well. From what I understand, Ms. Nakatani lived in the SF Bay Area for a couple years before she lived here.

We had negi-okonomiyaki for dinner, watched 101 dalmatians, did some other stuff, but I'm really tired. I've got an elevated bed here, can't wait to test it out.


mamagotcha said...

Glad to hear you finally got to ride the bullet train, and that you landed among friendly folks.

What's the chance of getting you to post some pictures on Flickr anytime soon?

Mmmm, okonomiyaki! I had some at the Japan Fest yesterday. Linc had edamame, and shot little green projectiles all over the room. The Denver Taiko performance was awesome, and I got a new kendama. I considered getting you a shirt, but it was pretty plain, white with "Japan Fest 2008" in small letters over the heart, and a red gate on the back. If you're heartbroken, let me know and I'll do what I can.

Did I mention pictures? ;-)