敬老の日

15 Sep

Today is 敬老の日 (Respect For The Aged Day).
(I wrote a short FAQ about it here).

My kids bought a small gift for their 94-year old great-grandmother. They took it to her house and paid her a visit.

—-
Yesterday we went to 上野 (Ueno, Tokyo).
As we were leaving 上野駅 (Ueno Train Station), we passed the Hard Rock Cafe, Ueno Stn Tokyo. We didn’t go in, but I noticed this poster outside the cafe:

I like the American rock band Mötley Crüe, and I know that they’re coming to this year’s Loudpark Heavy Metal Festival in October (see my “Festivals In Tokyo” page)…but according to this poster, they’ll be playing dates in Japan after the festival, too.

From there, we went to the big 「やましろや」 (Yamashiroya Toy Store), and then we went to a lake that has rental boats.

We rented a boats for our daughters and they had fun paddling around the lake for a half-hour.

Here are a couple of videos of the boats on the lake (none of the videos of my kids are online):

After that, we saw some people feeding the (turtles) and (carp).
It was crazy. They started swarming to get the bread:

A nearby shrine:

At shrines in Japan, you can buy your fortune. After you read it, you tie it to one of these:

You can also buy an 絵馬…which is a wooden board that you write your wish on and then tie it near the shrine so your wish may come true.
Here are some people’s 絵馬 with their wishes written on them:

The shrine was setting up in the evening for the (festival) the next day (today):

My wife and daughters folded bamboo leaves into boats:

We stopped at an Okinawan store in Ueno to buy some Okinawan food. I really like Okinawan food.

This シーサー (Shiisaa) was outside the store. They are Okinawan mythological guardians (usually found in pairs):

And here’s an intersection in Ueno at night:

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4 Responses to “敬老の日”

  1. Mom October 14, 2008 at 7:08 am #

    There are so many really nice traditions and places to visit in Japan. My next visit will need to be for much longer than a week! I would love to stay for at least a month, maybe 3! of course, Dad will need to be retired and rich by then.

    Please give your great gr’mother our love and regards. I remember her from our visit and she is such a beautiful lady. I was so impressed by her ability to sit on the floor during the wonderful dinner A’s mother prepared for us. Both the gr’parents sat on the floor with such grace and ease. it was very impressive to Dad and me-we struggled so much that A’s parents got us the unusual “chair” to help us. do you remember what kind of a chair was that? it helped us to stay sitting on the floor but it had a back to it?? we never saw one like it before.

  2. tokyo5 October 14, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    Mom…

    >There are so many really nice traditions and places to visit in Japan. My next visit will need to be for much longer than a week!

    Yes, you need more than a week to see all of Tokyo alone, not to mention all of Japan.

    >Please give your great gr’mother our love and regards. I was so impressed by her ability to sit on the floor

    That was ten years ago. She was 84 then. She still sits on the floor everyday now…but with that chair that you used.

    >do you remember what kind of a chair was that?

    Of course, I remember. It’s called 座椅子 (Zaisu).

    >we never saw one like it before.

    I doubt they have zaisu in America.

  3. Mom October 16, 2008 at 5:28 am #

    10 years ago?!?!! are you sure it was that long ago? that seems unreal, doesn’t it? I cannot believe how fast time is going by. we definitely need another visit. Gr’Gr’ma must be a very strong lady. pls give our love and best wishes.

    Everyone must have had lots of fun out in the boats! it looked like a beautiful lake on a beautiful day! There is so much to do in Japan isn’t there?? and so many different places to go and it seems they are in not to far away, distance wise. that makes it convenient!

    I loved watched someone making the little boat from a bamboo shoot! who made it? I guess it was beautiful lady whose name starts with “A”, is that right? I forgot what Okananin food tastes like, but I think I probably had it on our visit. Didn’t you buy us a red シーサー (Shiisaa)? that was very interesting to see one and learn alittle more about them. I would like to buy some wood to put my wish on the tree. is it expensive??? tell me how much and maybe I will send you some money to buy one for me and then I will tell you {only you) my wish and then see if it does come true. that would be nice.

  4. tokyo5 October 16, 2008 at 11:03 pm #

    Mom…

    Yes, your trip here was ten years ago. You gotta come visit again!

    And I’ll write a wish on an 絵馬 board for you (of course, you don’t need to send money).

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