Posted by: skyward | December 31, 2009


What a year it has been …  Read More…

Posted by: skyward | December 25, 2009

I Saw Three Ships

Here is I Saw Three Ships, my beloved Christmas piece, which my beloved violinist performed at a candlelight service last Christmas.  (He played it at recent Christmas parties as well, but no one seems to recognize it here in Japan.)

Posted by: skyward | December 25, 2009

Looking Back

“Life in Japan is hard,” Daniel once scribbled.

These unspoken words, which I came across in my boy’s journal, forced me to ponder.  I reflected on our journey, standing in the midst of our new home surrounded by office buildings in the Tokyo metropolitan center.

On an August morning, we hopped on a plane, sailing into uncharted waters.  Since then, Daniel and his sister have carved out new lives in the unfamiliar  –and often exotic–  world. 

Yes, Daniel, there are kanji (Chinese characters) drills and tests, lengthy commutes, packed trains, and the seemingly endless stairs at train stations, chain smokers in family restaurants ….  The list goes on.

But think of all the places we would have never visited, and all the people we would have never met. Think of all the rich experiences we would have missed.  And believe me, I’m referring to more — in fact much more — than Tokyo Disneyland, where we hopped on the “It’s a Small World” boat a dozen times (or so it seems), or the bunch of six-graders with girlish giggles, who mercilessly chase after you at the community center.

Looking back years later, you will recall these days fondly (and gratefully, I hope.)

Posted by: skyward | December 21, 2009


“Only Store in the Nation Where You Can Get Peko-chan Yaki” (below.)


My little girl and I love Peko-chan. (For details, visit Sayaka’s Pink Room,  Our beloved Peco-chan is a six-year-old mascot (though she was actually “born” in the 1950s) for Fujiya, a major confectionary.  (Daniel hates to admit, but he secretly fell in love with this yummy treat.) 

“Peco-chan yaki” is a bun stuffed with custard cream, chocolate, read bean paste, etc.  We bought ten of them, and shared with friends.

Super-Jumbo Potsticker: 9,600 yen.  Want to try, anyone?  (I guess I’ll pass.)  We ran into this restaurant near the Peco-chan store, and cannot resist taking the photo.

At a pachinko (Japanese pinball) parlor, also near the Peo-chan store.

Posted by: skyward | December 21, 2009

Tokyo Disneyland

Boy it was fun and …… Read More…

Posted by: skyward | December 15, 2009


An unexpected career development has enabled me to revisit the landscape that shaped my childhood and adolescence.

It has also enabled my children to embark on a new journey in a country full of exotic charm.  

I find myself embracing the world I once strove to flee, aching to redefine myself in a faraway place.  From leisurely walks on the nearby Prince Street (depicted in my most recently published essay) to Saturday afternoon grocery shopping, I cherish the unsung joys of everyday moments with my family.

Posted by: skyward | December 13, 2009

More “Shitamachi” Photos

(Last photo:) “Men’s Pants  — 500 to 1,300 yen.”   Yes, this is still Tokyo.  (But I didn’t buy any pants for my husband…)

Posted by: skyward | December 13, 2009

Makes You Feel Like You’re Really Operating a Train…

This is one of the multiple simulators Daniel loved at the museum (mentioned in the prior entry.)

Posted by: skyward | December 12, 2009

Rules, Rules, Rules

The indoor shoes (to which students switch in the school’s entrance hall) must be whitish. Read More…

Posted by: skyward | December 9, 2009

Sharing the Holiday Season at a Tokyo Grocery Store

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