Friday, February 11, 2011

Yokohama Pt. 2

Clear blue skies and mild temperatures are the norm here in winter, but not so today! A thin layer of snow -- snow! -- was actually sticking to the track and field outside school this afternoon. Usually flakes, if they form and fall at all, disappear as soon as they hit. But looky here, we have tiny doilies floating down, landing, and lingering. Amazing.

I know, I know, the States are snowed under, everybody's miserable, etc., and that I would not want, of course, but some snow is good, because my boys love the stuff. They stick their faces right in it. They gather armfuls of it, pack it into cluster bombs, stomp on it, trudge through it, roll around and make snow angels with big fat grins on their faces. To do that, though, we usually have to leave Tokyo for the mountains.

I'm not complaining, really. I'll take the gentler climes, gladly I will, because it means no snow days (can you believe four in a row last week in Dallas, Texas?). It means I can get out and do things, like join a bunch of other moms from school for a day trip to Yokohama, Japan's second-largest city, about 20 miles SSW of Tokyo...

There's a lovely waterfront park in Yokohama, a port city (the port city, in fact, beginning in the 1860s when Japan opened itself up to foreign trade). And it's got a super-nice Chinatown - probably the cleanest, tidiest Chinatown in the world, I suspect. I've only been to San Francisco's and New York's, so what do I know, right? But I tell you this: if I dropped a steamed pork bun on the ground in Yokohama's Chinatown, I wouldn't be worrying about any 3-second rule. But on the corner of Bayard and Mott, well, I think I'd bin it.

More from Chinatown later. First stop on our ladies' tour was to go to the top of the Marine Tower, and, check it out! There's Mt. Fuji on the horizon there (squint and you will see the snowy peak).

From the opposite side of the observation deck, we caught the south-southeasterly view of the port and Tokyo Bay

View to the north:
Look at that blue sky!

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