Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Year's in Tokyo

Saipan for Christmas. Tokyo for New Year's. Did make it a bit difficult to pack, but we were happy to be able to vacation once again with the Ecksteins and then have a great place to bed down in Tokyo.

Douglas experienced Tokyo expat-kid living. Jumping on and off the trains and metro, traveling all over creation to find the best skate parks. Not something 13 year olds can readily do in Wilmington or Shanghai.

Tim and Sherry wandered the city looking at the sights. That is, we looked at all of the interesting and differently dressed people. There were, of course, the kimonos. In Shibuyu, mini (micro?) skirts with boots and bare legs are all the rage. Since it was quite cool, I wasn't sure that the goose bumpy legs looked all that good, but Tim thought it was interesting! Then there are the tanned people, sporting an unhealthy orangish tan year round; the Elvis look alikes; and then the goths.

January 2 is one of two days a year where the Imperial Palace grounds are open, and the Emperor Hirohito greets the people. The family comes out 6 times during the day at various intervals. People walk through security and into the palace grounds in a continuous stream throughout the day, the lines (of course) very orderly. That is, of course, if you ignore the crazy westerners!

The family comes out of the palace onto the balcony. The crowd waves and yells "Banzai". All quite moving when you consider that Hirohito is the remaining Emperor in the world.

A big thanks to the Ecksteins and their friends in Tokyo for a great holiday!

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