Kichijoji With Grandma!

2:38 PM

We woke up in the morning of our second day staying with Keiko, and it was POURING rain. We were so bummed, we were supposed to go meet Keiko's friends at an outdoor tai-chi type class but the class got canceled with the rain! 

We slept in a bit and then had breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa!

We had Nato (fermented soybeans and one of Randy's FAVORITE things) yogurt and apples, pickled salad, smoked ham, and bread and cheese. It was all so amazingly delicious!
Randy's cousin Reina came back to say goodbye, and we snapped a few pictures with her and Grandpa. We said goodbye to her and to Grandpa for the trip, and then went off to the bus stop in the rain with Keiko.

We got to the station and went on a train to Kichijoji, chatting and laughing with Keiko on the way. I looked over at her while we were on the train, she had a hat and her umbrella, a scarf and her handbag, and I couldn't help but think she looked exactly like Mary Poppins! She's an incredibly elegant and wonderful lady, and in just the few short days I spent with her I came to absolutely adore her. She's just amazing.

We got to our destination and put our luggage in a locker, then we were off. We got out in the city and walked through this big beautiful park. Keiko had grown up right there and went to that park many times as a girl, and it was so fun to hear stories. She told us how she and Grandpa had met and about her childhood. We saw a beautiful memorial for a teacher who had died saving some students there, and walked past the Ghibli museum which was so cool even from the outside! Keiko asked us if we knew the story of the Tower of Babel and told us all about how she knew Bible stories from her time at Catholic school, which was so sweet.
We passed this beautiful shrine where you wash your money and it helps you become prosperous. Keiko told us stories about when Sam and Clint had visited Japan and the things they had done there.

We kept walking and talking and went through the zoo. It was a pretty sad thing to be called a zoo, we mainly saw rabbits and chickens, guinea pigs and regular pigs. There were some monkeys that made us laugh, and we walked through a squirrel area where there were dozens of squirrels running around all around us, which freaked me out.

We ended up at this sculpture museum with work by Seibou Kitamura, the sculptor who designed the big gorgeous piece for the Nagasaki Peace Park. There is a replica of that statue in the garden, and it's absolutely amazing. We got to get SO close and see just how magnificent the piece is, I loved every second of it. We saw lots of other art there too and it was all so beautiful. 

We finished walking through the zoo and the park and got back near the station. Keiko wanted to show us the Catholic church where she had gone to school and technically been baptized. She laughed and told us she hadn't been there in years and didn't really practice Catholicism, but that it was a special church. On our way to that church, who should we run into...but the missionaries! It was so fun to bump into them, we snapped a couple pictures to send to their moms (and their moms were SO happy to see pictures) and chatted for a minute with them. We then went to see Keiko's church and it was absolutely beautiful. She told us a few stories about the nice nuns that taught her and what she remembered learning about Catholicism.

We decided to have sushi for lunch and we went to this amazing place Keiko liked. You don't order specific sushi most of the time, you just tell them to bring sushi and they bring it, and it's SO good. I had the best sushi of my life there! We had fresh tuna, salmon, mackerel, uni, fish roe and a BIG shrimp covered with caviar. It was amazing and we loved chatting with Keiko.

After lunch we went to Uniqlo, this awesome story that Randy loves there, and I spotted a skirt for 5 dollars. I decided to try it on and get it, and when I came back from trying it on, Keiko was in line buying the same skirt! She was so excited we would get to match which made me SO happy!

We got back on the train and just had an awesome time chatting with Keiko, we got back to the station and had to say goodbye, which was so sad. Randy and I both almost started crying having to say goodbye. Keiko went back home, and we headed off to Harajuku.

We got to Harajuku and instantly could hear the crazy anime music and EVERYTHING was pink! We just walked around and took it all in, it was still raining so there weren't as many cosplayers as normal but we still saw some crazy stuff!

We walked down Takeshita Street which was NUTS and SO overwhelming! 

We went to the Meji Shrine and it was absolutely beautiful, the path and the forest right next to the busy city blew me away.

We got on the train and went back to Shibuya for dinner. We passed this dog statue there to memorialize this incredibly loyal dog who kept going back to the station to wait for his master years after his master had died. There was a cat asleep under the statue which was cracking everyone up.

We went to have one of Randy's favorite things from his mission, chicken nanban. It was SO good! It's fried chicken with this amazing sauce and I was obsessed with it!

We got back on a train after dinner and headed back to the hotel near the Haneda airport, so we'd be ready for our early flight the next day. We saw the CUTEST little girl while we were waiting to check in, who waved and waved and waved at me. I thought she was the cutest thing ever.

We got up to our room, and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow! 

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