July 19, 2013

Showa Kinen Park

We went to Showa Kinen (memorial) Park today, a beautiful, enormous city park. We walked for hours and still did not see everything. They have a paddle boat lake, a water park, bike rentals, lots of different play areas for kids, as well as lovely picnic spots.

This was the big net climbing area, it was huge.

I really wanted to climb too! No such luck!

More slides.

Several playgrounds.

I still can't get over the greenery!

A maze made of little hills, all very uniform in size.

Big air bladders to jump on.

Dragons made of stone to climb in and on.

A handsome spectator!

Japanese custom is to remove your shoes when entering a bathroom and wear the slippers provided. This bathroom, at a public park, was so clean you could have eaten in there! (We later decided that we must have used a staff bathroom, because none of the other bathrooms had slippers. Ooops! Oh well, at least we followed the proper protocol!)

Beautiful meditation areas, we tried to keep the kids quiet here. This is the  girls with their new BFF, Katie.

Eva's new friends.

It was a great day!

My new (to me) Japanese car

This is my new (to me) Japanese car. It is a Toyota FunCargo. It looks very small, but is actually pretty roomy on the inside. We quickly learned that the smaller the car the better, here! The streets are very narrow, as are the parking spots. Sometimes the side mirrors of this car actually need to be folded in to pass cars, signs, etc.

Yes, the steering wheel is on the right side, and we drive on the left side. It was scary at first, but I am used to it now.

Plenty of space for our Costco purchases!

The seats even fold all the way into the floor in case you need to haul something. There is quite a bit of leg room for the girls and they are very excited about their cup holders!

In case you were wondering, Matt bought a van to drive around base. So, if you want to visit, we do have a larger vehicle as well!

July 17, 2013

Joyful Honda

I can't even begin to describe this store! It is like a Home Depot, JoAnn's Crafts, Petsmart, grocery store, Walmart and food court all rolled up into one! It is enormous! The girls especially loved all the pets.

Moving walkways, to the upstairs.

You can even buy chickens.

Or a pet beetle!

We have also seen these fried meat tables at every grocery store. Looks good, but we have no idea what the meat is!

This store was almost overwhelming! We will have to go back and look section by section. You can't really do the whole thing in a day!

Fun city park

The girls and I found this fun city park with a climbing contraption and some really fun roller slides. They said the rollers hurt their bottoms, but continued to slide over and over again anyway. I have since heard that if you slide on a piece of cardboard, you go faster and it doesn't hurt. We will try that next time! We also walked by a little house with a beautiful kiwi vine.

Beautiful greenery! 

Home sweet home!

As soon as we had wheels, we just HAD to head to Costco, of course! We were pleasantly surprised to find the layout exactly the same as back home and complete with samples and snack bar! They have many of the Kirkland brand products and lots of  Japanese items, including a great sushi department! Prices are a bit higher, but not as bad as we thought they might be.

One of the more interesting samples. Dried minnow snack mix. Not a hit with anyone, including Matt!

Seafood take-n-bake pizza.

Snack bar also had clam chowder and a bulgogi bake, our favorite! It is a korean style beef meal.

Off base

After being stuck on base with no transportation,until we passed our Japanese driving test (more on that later), we were anxious to get out and explore the surrounding town, Fussa. Last Saturday, we walked to the train station with 2 other families and had breakfast at McDonald's. With 8 kids in tow, we were quite a group!

Making new friends!

Checking out local stores.

We made it!

We made it!! After a very long flight, we finally landed at Yokota. The first thing that struck us was how green everything is here! Also, the heat and humidity was just STIFLING! Like stepping into a steam room. Supposedly you adjust to that, I will let you know!

We were picked up by several of Matt's coworkers and taken to our temporary "home". It is a 3 bedroom apartment that is actually pretty nice, but we are ready to get settled.

After a rough few days adjusting to the time difference, we are 15 hours ahead of back home, we are enjoying exploring.This is one of the many beautiful tree lined streets around the base.