This was our last day in Japan. We did a little touring around Yokohama City with Michiko. One place we wanted to visit was LL Bean. There are several LL Bean stores in Japan and one is located in Yokohama. It is in the large Queen Square mall and is right next to Eddie Bauer! Except for the smaller scale of the store and the signs in Japanese, it looked like LL Bean. We loved the sign that had the picture of Moosehead Lake, where my parents live!
From the mall, we visited Akarenga Soko, the Warehouse District that has been refurbished into speciality shops, restaurants and cafes. We wandered through a couple of the buildings. It is a nice location on the waterfront.
Our last stop for the day was the Ramen Hakubutskan a museum and restaurant dedicated to the Chinese ramen noodle. The upstairs is the museum and downstairs there are nine restaurants in a setting of 1958 Shitamachi (downtown district). We thought it would be a fun place to eat lunch, however we didn’t eat there as all of the ramen dishes contained meat. When Michiko and I were discussing where we going, I suggested the ramen place. Michiko didn’t understand what I was saying. I said it was a type of noodle, thinking that she would understand. She still didn’t and whipped out her trusty electronic translator. When the word came up, she said “Oh, lamen”! Then, she explained that the Japanese language doesn’t have “r” and they exchange it with an “l”. I tell you, I have a whole new respect for Japanese who can speak English, after learning little tid-bits like that throughout my trip!
The rest of the day was for hellos and good-byes. We went to the in-laws’ house to say our good-byes. They presented me with a yukata. It is like a kimono but worn casually as a robe around the house. Also, Mrs Kaneko gave me a beautiful fan.
Since we had yet to meet Michiko’s family, her mom and sister came over to visit. Her mom came laden with so many gifts for us – clocks, lacquer bowls, chop sticks and a calendar. Michiko gave me 2Japanese mugs, coasters and a notepad. As a birthday gift, she gave me a jewelry music box. I just love music boxes…as a matter of fact, as a wedding gift, David gave me a music box. The final surprise was a birthday cake!
For dinner we all went to a sushi restaurant. We were seated in a booth and beside the booth was a little conveyor belt that the chef placed various sushi creations on. As the dishes traveled by on the belt, you could take it and enjoy. There were waitresses who would also take orders as well.
After dinner, Natsumi had to return to school. She is taking extra study classes to prepare for a test she will be taking in February. It is her entrance exams for junior high school. It is extremely competitive for the students and very high pressure to get into a good school. Takuma fell asleep at the restaurant. David and I were beginning to think that he was the “Eveready Bunnie” as he never seemed to rest. However, this night we discovered when he crashed, he was down for the count! David carried him home, which was very cute.
It was a wonderful day and a wonderful end to an amazing trip!