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I hope to give monthly or bi-monthly news updates of my life in Tokyo!

Read my Christmas letter Christmas Letter


January 2000. The year started off pretty well. My wife Soyoko and I celebrated New Year's Eve by strolling around the Asakusa district of Tokyo and Senso-ji temple. We took a river tour of the Sumidagawa as the date changed to 2000. It was fun but, of course, it was crowded (that's what happens in a city with 12 million residents) when we began our journey home. We weren't able to reach our house until about 3:30 am. On New Year's Day we went to a shrine near Soyoko's parents' house in Suginami ward called Eifuku-ji. Soyoko's parents joined us and with their help we were able to go inside the Shrine to pray. Afterwards, we were treated to amazake (sweet sake) and mochi (rice that has been beaten to paste and formed into a kind of confection). Hatsumode is the name given to the first visit to the shrine in the New Year. Most Japanese people visit a shrine during the first week of January. It was quite interesting and a new experience for me since I had never been inside a functioning Shinto shrine before. One unfortunate note to mention. I came down with another mysterious attack of gout. It seems I overdosed on o-sembe (Japanese rice crackers) during the holidays. My left big toe is very swollen and makes it hard to walk. I'm trying to remedy it now. Anyway that's it for this now.....
Jan. 31, 2000. I'm pleased to say that I am fully recovered from my latest bout with gout. Thanks to Orudus, ibuprophin and Aleve. NSAIDs are the key. (Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs). I watched Super Bowl XXXIV at home on satellite TV and was pleased that it turned out to be an exciting game in the second half. Of course, I missed seeing all the innovative commercials (too bad). Good luck to the Rams next year. If those two teams could make it to the big one, maybe the Raiders can make it next year. I can't believe that February is almost here already. It feels like spring is in the air but I know it will get colder again soon. TTFN.......
Feb. 22, 2000. Less than one month until spring. I hope it will be nice. It has been a cold and windy February. Everything is okay. Working hard and enjoying life.
March 10, 2000. Well, my WebPage is almost complete. We had wonderful weather on Tuesday but it has gotten cold again. However, spring is just around the corner and the trees are blooming. Late February and early March are the time when plum blossoms bloom. There are many plum trees in Tokyo too. Cherry blossom season is about 3 weeks away in Tokyo. I can't wait. The weather has been cold and windy but the days are bright and sunny. Soyoko will start a new job at her company in April and is preparing for it now. She is a little nervous because she has been with her current department for a long time. She will be very busy and we don't think we will be able to travel in spring as planned.

Last Updated: October 18, 2001