Relatives past and present.

I think we took a step back on the jet lag recovery program today, as we were up and about by 5.

Today was the day that triggered the trip to Japan, the 5th anniversary of the death of Jill’s grandmother, and the 10th anniversary of her uncle’s death.  The last time we were here was on the 3rd anniversary of her death, and much like the first time, we met at the cemetery, paid our respects and went out for a fabulous lunch.

After I had put on my nice clothes for the day, Miwa came in and said, “You look so handsome!  Where are you going?”  I guess clothes do make the man.

The paying of respects involves a Shinto priest saying some stuff, then each person there has to lay a branch down, bow twice to the dearly departed, clap twice, bow once more, turn to the priest and bow, then exit.  I memorized that by watching everyone else before me, so I didn’t mess it up.
Lunch was an amazing series of small tasty Japanese dishes at a very nice restaurant with a very nice garden.  I didn’t get a chance to photograph each dish, as I was too busy chasing Miwa and Ru-chan around.  Ru-chan slipped away twice and ended up entertaining people in other dining rooms.  A waitress brought her back once.  I guess she was cute enough that no one got upset, but it was still a little mortifying.
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It took Miwa a while to warm up to her second cousins, but once she did, she had a great time.  As usual when she is having a good time, she ended up not paying attention to what she was doing and tripped and fell on some concrete stairs.  No facial lacerations like last time fortunately, just a good goose egg on the back of her head.  The funniest thing is that when I asked her what happened, she just said, “I wasn’t paying attention and I fell on my head.”  I guess the message is at least starting to get through.

While the kids ran around, Tak, Mitzi, Jill and Nancy had fun catching up with the family, and I struggled to pick out a bit here and there.  Fortunately one of the second cousins was trying to learn English so I helped him out.

On our way back though Hachioji Station we stopped in a food market/delicatessen area in a department store and bought dinner.  We have decided that there is really no reason to cook here when you can buy so much delicious food that is already prepared.


We managed to stay up until 9, though it was a struggle.


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