Sunday, April 28, 2013

Some new adventures!

So, it's been a couple of weeks since the last post.  I have begun to settle into the new place, getting some "new" furniture and developing routines.  I have my bicycle ride to CAJ down and even know another way or two.  I've gotten my first bills and can pay them at the local convenience store!  
During spring break, Laurie brought my bicycle from Maryland.  It is great having the bicycle here, especially for those longer rides.  I did need a bicycle that I could use when I go shopping, a bicycle that would have baskets.  So, I went out and bought one here.  It's pink, well pink and white!  
My Canadian bicycle is the red one and my new Japanese bicycle is the pink and white one.  I plan to put a basket on the back as well, for those serious shopping trips.  

Another new adventure (although not so new really) was going to Tokyo with visiting friends, on my own (that's the new part!).  The Ledeboers came to visit from Sioux Falls, South Dakota on their way to China to attend a conference with The Luke Society (website: The Luke Society).   A colleague, Rick, had taken me for Tokyo tours previously, but he was not available this particular Saturday.  Rick, very kindly, wrote up an itinerary and train connections for me to follow.  
This is a map of the JR lines but there are also other train lines not on this map. (website: Tokyo Metro website ) 
Tokyo is very accessible and taking the trains is probably the best way to travel (maybe bicycle is another good way).  With the Ledeboers I was able to navigate the trains/subway to various tourist sites without too many wrong turns.  We did visit shrines and temples and the Azalea Festival and admired some architecture.  It was a great day, but the weather would turn and it began to rain.  We ended up bicycling back home in the pouring rain.
Azalea Festival
Close up of the Azaleas
Sumitomo Building by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Complex
There were a couple of other new events.  The girls in Middle School are able to join CAJ's basketball team.  Their season is short, but they played a couple of games at CAJ.  I was able to attend the games. The girls did well in both games and won both games at home.  
CAJ MS girls C Team getting instructions from their coach Ms. Kim during half time.
The girls also had a bake sale after school on Friday.  They were raising money to support the work in the Tohoku region where they are still cleaning up and rebuilding after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  
The MS girls basketball C team's bake sale.  
Today after church, I went with Bruce and Roberta Carrick on a bicycle ride.  We went about 45 kilometers.  It was fantastic weather to ride bicycle.  Here's a map courtesy of the app the Carricks have. 
I didn't make it all the way back to Higashikurume but left the trail to go home.
A drink break, see the tea field in the background?
Park where we had lunch.
A lovely place to stop.
A lot of the roads we took were the narrow ones, not so much the main highways.
Look at that beetle! YIKES!
 I had a great time riding my bicycle, although there were a number of sounds my bicycle was making that I should probably get checked out.  The weather was really beautiful and I was able to see more of Japan with some fun people!

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