Thursday, August 26, 2010

The first week has been one of transition
and getting things done!

We are staying at our temporary housing (Monzen Lodge) which is small but comfortable. Bilroy is temporarily staying with a nice family on base since he can't stay at the lodge with us. Here are a few pictures of the Iwakuni MCAS Marine base from the "Freedom Bridge"...

We went house hunting which was quite the adventure due to the language barrier and our request for a 3 bedroom home.  Of the 10 Offices we went to, only ONE had anything to offer: One house and one apartment. Needless to say we went with the house. We Move in next Thursday, September 2nd.

I have been trying to visit boy as much as possible but while he is fairly close it is really hot outside with me being miso prego, I can only take the heat for so long and we still don't have a car.

On Wednesday night we went out to dinner into downtown Iwakuni with Jessica, Lauren & Malcolm.  There are hundreds of restaurants downtown, and we picked one at random.  The dining options were interesting...

Yes that is raw HORSE meat, & fried WHALE. Thankfully they also had other options which were less adventurous and very delicious.
(Just a Sardine)
In town we found some cool signs, looks at this:

& My Favorite...
We also found my new favorite place,
Where the had some sweet offerings which we took home.
Needless to say, I WILL be back. 
Yes that is a tiny ice pack to keep my little cakes nice and cool.
& the cookies certainly put a smile on my face.

Today (Thursday) we got a lot accomplished.
We started the paper work process for the house and had to open a Japanese bank account at Yamaguchi Bank.
At the bank we found this guy who has been our favorite dressed so far:

Crocs are very popular in Japan, but he took it to another level with the Sesame Street embelishments. Also notice the sharp Lego fanny pack & man purse.
In order to continue being productive, we bought a car!!!
We went with the ultra-chic J-car.
It is a Honda Spike and is super roomy inside.

We can't actually pick it up until next week since we won't get our drivers licenses until next Monday or Tuesday. Also we still are not sure how the whole driving on the left side of the road thing will go but we are optimistic.  Paul passed his driving test...others didn't (yet).

This is Paul signing the papers for the car over a tiny celebratory soda:

That is it for now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Arrival in Japan

Well, we made it. The flight from Seattle to Tokyo was a breeze; Bilroy flew in the cabin with us and did so good, no drugs needed.  We left Seattle at 1 PM Friday and arrived in Japan at 3 PM Saturday.

Once we arrived in Tokyo via Narita airport we had to take a shuttle to the Tokyo Hilton. Due to the crazy Tokyo traffic it took us 2 1/2 hours to go 45 miles. When we arrived at the hotel they had set the room up for King Bilroy

The Hilton was located in Shinjuku. We decided to stay up as long as possible to fight the Jet Lag and venture out for dinner.  After walking around we decided on a safe bet, Palette, a 6 story narrow building with 2-3 dining options per floor. We had some noodles with duck and dined next to some chain smoking business men (yum).

After a very comfortable long night sleep,

We headed to Haneda Airport for our short flight to Hiroshima. Needless to say, we had a lot of luggage but we managed just fine.

At the airport we shared a nice meal after much indecision and confusion.

After the short flight we arrived in Hiroshima, then had an hour transfer to Iwakuni.
We arrived on the base and rested for the long week to come....

To Be Continued...