I’m not Irish–the fam is mostly British on both sides, though we’ve been on this continent since the early 1600’s, which pretty much means they were in deep trouble in the Old Country–but on this day when Boston is still celebrating St. Patrick, I’m feeling lucky anyway. I apologize for being a fusspot yesterday, but I’m doing better today. It’s amazing how much it helps when I remind myself how very fortunate I am.

One of the recent blessings was our trip to Tokyo. My DH had to go on business and I was able to tag along for pleasure. He’s been in the travel IT industry for most of his working life, so we’ve been able to take trips like this that wouldn’t have been financially possible for us otherwise.

Downtown Tokyo

Information Overload

If you follow my blog, you know I’m sort of the Anti-Shopper. Whip me, beat me, don’t make me shop. That’s my mantra. But while we were in Tokyo, we did venture out to their “Times Square” area and visited a Pachinko parlor.

This is sort of a slot machine parlor, except the decibel level is more like a 747 taking off. With the raging music, the tinkling machines, bells and flashing lights, I couldn’t hear myself think in there.  But folks seemed to love it because almost every seat was filled.

Then we poked around in a ginormous 8 story department store, the basement of which was wholly devoted to food.

Toxic Sushi

Eat at Your Own Risk

The vendors sing-songed the virtues of their wares. They handed out samples. Fortunately, I like sushi and sasshimi. One of the things they weren’t dishing out was a sushi delicacy made of poisonous Puffer fish. Sushi chefs who work with this unique fish have to be specially trained and licensed by the state. It take skill to carve out the toxic gland without releasing the poisons into the paper thin slices. It looked intriguing, but I passed. People do die from eating it on occasion. It’s strictly a “chew at your own risk” gastronomic experience.

$50 Melons

$50 Melons

The prices we saw on fresh produce there were a shock. A dozen oranges cost the equivalent of $100. A single cantaloupe with a bit of the stem still intact was offered for nearly $50 (approx. 4725 yen). I’m not sure why the prices were so steep unless the Japanese have lost far more farmable land in last year’s nuclear disaster than we suspected.

At any rate, I’ll never complain about Stop-N-Shop prices again!

White Day Gifts

White Day Gifts

The Japanese don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but they do have what they call “White Day” in March. Chocolates are a favorite gift for lovers there too.

The DH and I splurged a bit on some Japanese pastry. We chose a decadent little chocolate cake that was gilded a bit with gold frosting. It was fabulous when we shared it later in our hotel room along with a rich cup of espresso.

Tokyo by night

Tokyo by Night

I’m a very lucky girl and I know it. I’ve visited tomorrow (a fun perk of crossing the international date line–the closest we can come to time travel!) I’d always hoped to visit Asia some day, but never thought I would. Aside from all the wondrous sites and experiences, the Japanese people were the nicest surprise. I was so very impressed with their culture and ethics. I was blessed by this trip in hundreds of ways, but I would love to see Japan during cherry blossom time and venture out into the countryside.

Is it wrong to hope I can go again?

6 thoughts on “Lucky

  1. Carol L says:

    Wow Mia, what a wonderful opportunity you had. :) The pics of those pastries have my mouth watering. And you never know. Just like you didn’t think you’d ever get to Asia the first time it could happen again. I love cherry blossoms. Thanks for sharing.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      It was a great trip. Of course, now the credit card bills are arriving, but it was such a good opportunity, we couldn’t pass it up. ;-)

  2. Barbara Britton says:


    I liked your pictures. Those strawberry cakes look wonderful.
    Glad you had a special trip.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      It was special. I’m ready to go again!

  3. Marcy W says:

    Thanks for sharing photos of your foray into the wild and wonderful world of Asia today. I don’t think it’s wrong to hope you can go again someday, hit the cherry blossom time … and maybe some other places in that part of the world, too. “Gratitude is the attitude” which will get you what you want, and you’re always grateful, Mia, for what you have. It’s one of the best traits you share and model for us.
    Enjoy Chicago … I hope the Midwest mildness extends that far, and it’s being pretty there for you.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      We had a drop dead gorgeous day here yesterday. After I got home from the NECRWA meeting, I found the DH out on the balcony for the first time this spring, with his feet up and a book open, just enjoying the 70 degree weather. Lovely…

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