Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Postcard from Japan: Monday, November 7, 2016

Yes, we went to have anmitsu again, one more time.  The hot Ocha and the smooth cool vanilla ice cream is so delicious with the soft anko (red bean paste).  I thought the anko was the anmitsu, but I learned that it's the entire dish and its contents.  It was the last time, at least for this trip, that Mariko-san and I will have anmitsu together.

Mihashi's specialty is anmitsu.  Mariko-san's favorite
dessert and shop.
We also walked around Ikebukuro for a time, aiming to go to the Sunshine Building but on the way Mariko-san saw a store called "Book-Off" and, knowing that love books, we went in.  Books written in English were way in the back but well worth the search.  I didn't realize that book-off means they're used books until I exclaimed at the really cheap price of the two I wanted (both 150yen each, so $3 for the two).  I found a copy of "Robin Hood" written in novel form from the movie with Russell Crowe and "The Geography of India," a cultural and historical view of India from ancient time to present.  I keep feeling as though I'm not going to sleep on the plane and I need to have enough books with me just in case.

Elevator attendant at Tobu Department
Store in Ikebukuro
Because I was considering going to see another textile exhibit in which Mariko-san definitely had NO interest, she left and I walked around Tobu Department store.  I waited for the elevator and was so surprised to find that they still have elevator attendants--- and in pink!

This is me in a skinny mirror in my latest
combination of clothing for Japan.  Notice
my turquoise camera!
I had gotten off at the 6th floor not knowing what I'd find--- it was the men's department with pretty much no men around--- and very, very quiet.  I went in the Otearai (restroom) and, of course, no other women were in there.  After washing my hands and drying them in the air dryer, I turned to find myself in a long mirror at the end of the restroom.  And a skinny mirror at that!  So, I took a selfie of myself looking a lot thinner than I really am!  (I gained weight the first week I was with Mama-san--- so much bread, rice, noodles, and  FRIED FOOD and almost no vegetables or fruit; salad seems unknown.  It seems that Japan has changed to a convenience society where the easier food to get at the grocery store is fried.  I'm definitely eating only vegetables and fruit when I get home.)

A simple dinner of rice, miso shiru with tofu, nuka pickled cucumbers,
scrambled egg with soy sauce and a little too much sugar (so it's a
little burned but still really good tasting), nori (seaweed) and grilled
salmon from Mariko-san's dinner.
I ended up not going out to exhibit of indigo-dyed work kimono but returning to Narimasu and my mother-in-law's.  One major adventure a day is about what I can handle.  We had a simple dinner. Mama-san complained that she'd put too much sugar in the eggs... they look burned because the soy sauce burns very easily, but they tasted very good.  My favorite Japanese food is still gohan to miso shiru (rice and miso soup)--- so satisfying.

Front door and entrance area where you
take off your shoes and put on slippers.
I decided to take some photos of the inside of the apartment.  My mother-in-law (giri no haha) lives in a typical three-room apartment: a small narrow entrance hall with
The toilet in a separate room off the entrance.
the toilet a separate room on one side and the
On the other side of the entrance area is
a room that has a sink/mirror, the
washing machine, and (not seen) the shower
and Ofuro area.
shower/ofuro on the other side,
When you pass through the entrance area
and close the door, you're in the dining
area.
a dining area and
The dining area has a table squeezed into
it and the kitchen forms the other
side of the L.
kitchen in an
The kitchen.
This is my mother-in-law's bedroom with
a bed and wood floors.  Note the
sliding door to the balcony on which
the laundry is hung.
L-shape,
This is the room off the dining area with tatami
where I slept on the blow-up bed.  Note
the sliding door to the balcony on which
the laundry is hung.
a tatami room, and a wood floored room.  A balcony surrounds these rooms since she's on the corner of the second floor.  Instead of windows, there are sliding doors on both the tatami and the wood-floored rooms.

One more day to go before leaving on Wed., the 9th, for home in Michigan.
The shower and Ofuro area just
beyond the washing machine.

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