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Visitors from New York!

Jeff, James, and Ayumi woke up early and headed for the Tsukiji Fish Market. This is the place where restaurant owners and local businesses come to get the best deals in the early morning auction. This is serious fish...the bluefin tuna will go for prices as high as $60,000. I read that the record bid was at $185,000! Can you imagine!? Jeff will write more on this and post some photos.

We also got to see areas of Old Tokyo, thanks to our aunts who live in the area! It's always so special to hang out with Reiko Obachan (right), who totally reminds me of my mom. She makes my heart happy when I spend time with her:)

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Then another day, Ayumi said, "Let's just go to the station and ask a travel agent where we can go to see cherry blossoms!" With my being a "J" on the Myers-Briggs personality scale, and her being a "P", I had to laugh. But it was so much fun to do things spontaneously...it turned out to be a great day, as if it had been planned for weeks:) We ended up getting on the bullet train towards Yamagata (up north) where the weather had been a bit colder than Tokyo, so the blossoms were still there. We found a beautiful park and enjoyed being surrounded by pink!

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They went to Kyoto on Thursday, and we joined them on Friday after the kids finished school. We got on the bullet train and got there in the evening. It was only a weekend trip, but we were able to pack a lot in...we saw temples and shrines and beautiful Japanese gardens. The bamboo forest was breathtaking! The stalks almost looked ceramic. We also went to the Monkey Park where we hiked up a mountain and got to feed the monkeys. The baby monkeys were so cute! James and Ayumi were kind enough to watch the kids for a couple of nights so that Jeff and I could sneak off for a bit of night life alone:) I guess "night life" makes it sound like we went out partying like young people...but basically I just wanted to go and try out some of the different food in the area! We had a blast! (P.S. Zack took the 2 greenery photos after the bamboo picture. He was very proud of himself. They turned out really good! He's taking after his daddy!)

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We were very sad to say good bye to Ayumi and James, but were SO thankful for our time together!

Click here to see more photos of our time in Kyoto...

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Jeff's column offers a mix of reflections on leadership and fatherhood, as well as news from Asian Access.

 

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Nozomi's column contains reflections on motherhood, Japanese culture, and ministry.

 

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Zack's column provides a variety of glimpses into what makes him tick.

 

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