Tokyo (day 2) Making new friends and having new adventures

I had grand plans of writing a long blog post tonight.  But it’s nearly midnight and I am so very tired I can barely keep my eyes open.

I had a great day today and want to share my adventures.  Just don’t expect there to be wonderfully flowing prose!

I started the day meeting with Dr. Naozumi Eto, the President of Japan Lutheran College, about the possibility of creating a partnership with Bethany College.  He is a great man and obviously a wonderful leader and I felt very comfortable speaking with him.  After the meeting Jim Sack introduced me to another faculty member who helps lead a harp ensemble at the college.



They were very good.  I invited them to come visit us at Bethany College!  They wanted to play a song for me so they chose “Amazing Grace.”  On a side note, Carol Sack (Jim’s wife) is a harpist and created a program in which she and others play harp and sing for those who are in hospice care.  She also participates in a program in which she introduced harp to those affected by the Tsunami that hit Japan a few years back.  It’s really very interesting and moving, and should probably be an entire blog post of its own!

I was also able to take a tour of the chapel on campus.

JLCChapel JLC Chapel 2

After “work” was done I set out to do some sightseeing.  My first stop was the Tokyo Metropolitan City Building.  It has an observation deck (two in fact) that allowed a great view of the city.

City Building View 2 CityBuilding View 1

After leaving the city building I experienced something I can almost not believe. I have been told by more than one person that residents of Japan will go out of their way to make foreigners feel comfortable.  But I didn’t really understand that until today.

My two/three plans for the rest of the day were to 1) Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum, 2) See if I could find a ticket to the Yomiuri (Tokyo) Giants baseball game at the Tokyo Dome, and 3) See as much of Tokyo as possible.

I was so very tired that I stopped a taxi and was inquiring about the cost to go from the city building to the Edo museum.  It turns out that it would have been around 5000 yen (more than $40).  I obviously decided not to take the taxi but I must have looked lost because a man about my age or perhaps a little younger stopped me as I was leaving the taxi and asked if he could help me.  I thanked him but said I could figure it out.  He wouldn’t take no for an answer so I told him where I was wanting to go and that I was going to take a train.  He gave me directions and then said he was going to walk me to the train station to make sure I got there okay.  Now, the train station was not that close so I told him thank you but no he did not have to do this.  Well, again he wouldn’t take no for an answer.  He said he was going to that station anyway but I’m fairly confident he wasn’t.  When I met him he was walking in the other direction.

As we were walking to the station (Shinjuku) he asked what my plans were.  I said I wanted to go to the baseball game but that it was sold out.  That’s when he decided he was going to make sure I got a ticket.  He walked me out of the way to a place that sold tickets.  They had a ticket but it was a nose bleed seat.  I would have taken it but he said we should check out another place.  So we walked another half mile to another place and found a good seat for a not too expensive price.  Then he walked me to the train station and gave me specific directions to get where I needed to go.  In the end he probably walked a few miles out of his way and spend an extra hour taking care of a complete stranger.  So, this is my new friend.  I hope he will check this page (we exchanged business cards) and see how appreciative I am of his hospitality.

Mark and New Friend

NOTE:  It’s literally after midnight now and I am about to fall asleep.  The short story of the rest of my day is that I visited the museum and it was awesome. Then I had a great seat to the Yomiuri Giants vs. the Chimichi Dragons (which is basically the Giants vs. the Dodgers).  The crowd was CRAZY.  This was a third place team (Giants) and a fifth place team (Dragons) playing in what probably wasn’t that meaningful of a game and yet the opposing team had a huge presence, with singing, cheering, trumpets, flags, etc. . . and that was just the OPPOSING team.  The home team was even crazier.  I will attempt to explain more later but for now just appreciate the pictures and video.

Edo Museum 1 Edo Museum Instruments

Kabuki 1

Dome 1


Giants Pride Giants vs Dragons



Snacks at the ball game Supper at the game


Those last two pictures are of the food available at the game.  A little different than Kauffman Stadium.

Tokyo Dome Inside

Finally, this is what happens when the home team hits a home run:


Until tomorrow. . .




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