Only a quick note this morning. My interenet access is limited and will be until the workshop is finished, about March 3.
The various flights were unremarkable, which is always good, right? I did ask for assistance from gate to gate at JFK and Seattle, which made it possible to get from gate to gate, since the flights were booked so closely together. I've never asked for a wheelchair before, or priority boarding, but it made everything easier.
Narita airport was also easy this time. My luggage was nearly first on the conveyor, customs didn't want to look through my luggage, and the bus from the airport to Tokyo was ready five minutes after I bought my ticket.
I'm staying in the same businessmen's hotel as when I was here in '07. The rooms are not the smallest I've ever seen, the hotel (in Nakano-ku) is convenient to the subway and close to the house of our workshop host. At this hotel, you leave the key at the desk when you are going out and pick it up again when you come back to the hotel. So there is always this interaction with the gentlemen who work the front desk. I find it all comforting somehow. And the hotel provides, in addition to the usual soap and toothbrush, complementary socks.
Dave and I had dinner nearby to finish up arrival day and Joyce joined us for a little while.
My first full day, Wednesday was mostly devoted to exploring the neighborhood. I visited with Joyce for a while and then walked over to the 100 yen store, which is pretty much what you would expect from any dollar store, but it's here in Tokyo. I bought a cheap change purse to hold my yen, and some little cozies for kitchen chair legs, that are intended to keep the chair from scratching the floor. I like shopping for bits of junk, I'll admit it. And I'm likely to visit the 100 yen store again before the workshop ends.
Dave met up with me for lunch, and we walked over the the neighborhood Buddhist temple and through the local cemetery.
Then we visited the bookstore around the corner, which has a very tiny collection of English language books. My most exciting find at the bookstore was a bi-lingual guide to Japanese Buddhist Sculpture.
Most of the workshop people met for dinner later in the evening. Of the 10 or 11 people who will be participating, I know six, either from Noh summer camp or my last visit here, so it's a good comfortable group.
No pictures today, since my camera doesn't want to talk to the little netbook I'm using. I hope to have this resolved tomorrow. First workshop session this morning, and then off to the National Noh Theatre for performances of Tsunemasa and Hagoromo, which I'm told will be performed by a company of all women.
Time to get moving. More tomorrow.