After our week in Hong Kong we traveled to Tokyo. My parents spent the week at the Bar Association meeting and I spent the week with my friend Peco and her family. She took me to see a variety of sights in Tokyo and the surrounding countryside. I'm sorry that I didn't know enough about Japanese culture, art and architecture at the time to appreciate enough of what I saw or to ask about visiting some more important cultural sights.

But I was inspired by what I did see, and of course, by Peco's companionship as well. I can truthfully say that this portion of the trip changed my outlook on the world.

Few of the major experiences of this week are documented in pictures. For that reason some of the links below are to narratives. They will be so identified.



Uchida Family

Peco and her family in their garden. Ignorant as I was, it didn't take me long to realize that a house with a walled garden in the Roppongi area was not a typical Japanese household.

I knew that Peco's father, Takeo Uchida, was an artist and that her mom, whose name I cannot recall, ran a cookie factory. They were not typical. I don't remember Peco's brother's name either. I think he was still a student at this time.

Tokyo Shopping Mall

One of the places we visited was the Buddhist Senso-ji temple. This open-air shopping mall leads up to it. The temple was founded in the 7th century although the current building dates from after WWII.

Asakusa Temple

Near the Buddhist temple is the Shinto Asakusa Shrine. This structure escaped the damage of the WWII bombing raids and dates back to the 17th century.

The smoke behind Peco is from a giant incense burner. There was also a tree on the grounds with many cloth rags tied to it. She said there were prayers written on the rags.

Emperor's Palace, Tokyo

We visited the site of the Tokyo imperial palace, which is surrounded by a large moat. The structures date from after WWII, but the location has been used since at least the 15th century.

Me & Peco

Peco and I visited my folks at the Imperial Hotel where they were staying. An earlier version of this hotel had been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but it had been replaced by a larger structure. I seem to remember that this wall of glass brick was left from the Wright building, although I can't verify that.

I do remember getting a wonderful tempura meal here. It has spoiled me forever after.

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