Monday, August 10


We've decided to move our blog. It's a bittersweet day for me, I've loved Blogger, but lately I've been frustrated with layouts and other random issues that make my posting a frustrating process.

So, please visit our new blog!

As a disclaimer, if I find out that the new site is not working for me, we may end up back here...we'll see how it goes.

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 10:08 AM
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Sunday, August 9


So, as I mentioned Tokyo was filled with people and shopping. The shopping actually became quite overwhelming and Chris and I got into a big discussion about how the old Japanese culture has actually been lost and the new generations are just so consumed with their outer appearance, thus all the stores.

It is just sad to see so many people putting their efforts into defining themselves by their stuff. But people in America do that too. It is just a constant to reminder to me that no matter where we are in the world, we should be defining ourselves by Chris and His love, not by things.

At night, because of all the stores, most street corners in Tokyo looked like Times Square because of all the neon lights! So, may these pictures be a reminder to you not to be consumed by all the stuff in the world, but to give your life's meaning to someone much bigger. (And, in addition, you might think the pictures look cool and that's ok because I do too!)



Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 9:41 PM
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Friday, August 7


Tuesday was our last day in Tokyo, but we still fit a lot in! We headed back to Nippori, the textile town, and picked up a few more fabrics. There were some polka dot fabrics I just couldn't stop thinking about! Then we headed to Shibuya. Shibuya has the busiest intersection in Tokyo, it's the one that's in any movie about Tokyo. When everyone crosses the street they cross like 5 or 6 different directions. It looks like one big Sparky Crawl!

After Shibuya we headed back to Shinjuku (our favorite spot) and got another tasty doughnut (or two), stopped at the English bookstore and had some more Mexican food before we had to head to our bus and go home. We had a great trip, and if any of you decide to come visit, we'll be happy to take you around Tokyo!

Shibuya

The Sparky Crawl!

Of course Shibuya has the biggest Starbucks I've ever seen! Surprisingly enough - I did not get coffee from it.

Shinjuku - Chris loved this clock

On our way home!

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 10:12 PM
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On Monday we headed to Nippori, the Textile Town in Tokyo. I didn't know about Nippori until someone left me a link to it through our blog. Once I started to research it, I found out it is a mile-long stretch with all kinds of fabric stores along it. The place was better than I could have imagined - we only made it to 2 stores, but the fabric was so cheap so I ended up with lots of cute prints. We even went back again on Tuesday for another quick trip!

Look at all that fabric! This store had 5 floors - all of fabric!


The most wonderful Chris carried all of my bags while I looked around.

After Nippori we headed to the Imperial Palace. It is a huge palace in the middle of the city. The Imperial Family still lives there so the palace is only open on January 1st, which meant our view was limited. But it was still neat to see!


There's a real mote that circles the whole palace. I never saw a real mote before!



I have never seen so many umbrellas before I came here! It does rain almost everyday here so it makes sense. But even when it's hot and sunny people use umbrellas to block the sun. They even sell non-waterproof umbrellas for the sunny days!

You can see all the tall, modern buildings that surround the palace.

After the palace we headed to Roppongi. It is an area with lots of restaurants and nightlife. We ate at a delicious restaurant before heading back to our hotel.

When we were walking around Roppongi we found this Swedish restaurant. It was so random looking, just sitting on the middle of the block. Thought it was only fitting to have an Olson take a picture in front of it.

Roppongi at night.

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 9:15 AM
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Thursday, August 6


So for our first vacation we decided it was only fitting to head to Tokyo. We went for 4 days/3 nights and I'd say that was a great amount for the first time.

Tokyo was lots of fun, it was great to be in a city again and feel the urban-ness, eat delicious food and experience a new city. But boy is that town crazy! There are 30 million people that live in Tokyo. We only saw the "downtown" area, which was huge, but is only about 1/4 the size of the rest of Tokyo.

At first when we pulled into the city, there weren't very many people on the sidewalks. So I said to Chris, "Where are all these people I keep hearing about?" But don't worry we found them - they were all in the train stations! Seriously, the train stations are crazy. Tokyo has a subway and a regular train that run around their downtown. So each station usually has more than one line coming into it, plus in one area of town there is a monorail. Each station also seems to turn into a mall. The station that we stayed by had 3 malls in it - the shopping was totally overwhelming to me in Tokyo!

We had so much fun though, exploring and seeing lots of things!

SATURDAY: We took the bus to Tokyo, and checked in at our "hotel", probably more like a hostel. Tiny rooms. Then we headed to Shinjuku. Our hostel wasn't too far from here so we hung out here quite a bit. We found a bookstore with an English section, a tasty Mexican restaurant, Krispy Kreme and Starbucks here! No wonder it ended up being one of our favorite spots!

After we wandered around Shinjuku we headed out to see The Lion King, yes in Japanese. We were the only foreigners there, but we knew the story so it was ok. Chris had never seen the show so he just got confused between the African songs and the regular songs in Japanese. The show was still amazing!

But as we were watching it was kind of a little sad for us too. The Lion King has been in Tokyo for 10 years now, and watching the show made us realize it was probably because they believe in a lot of the ancestry stuff that the Lion King talks about. Just another reminder of the need of the people around us!

SUNDAY: Sunday morning we were so blessed to be able to go tochurch in English! The church is a church-plant from the Hillsong Australia church. The people at the church were very nice and very friendly. It was so encouraging to get to hear a LIVE sermon in English and to get to worship in a community in both English and Japanese.

After church we headed to Odaiba, a manmade island in Tokyo. It had lots of stuff to see, the Toyota Museum, a delicious Cheesburger place (with REAL beef), street performers, and a monorail to give us great views of the city!

We have lots of pictures to share, so I'm going to post them in a few posts.

One of our first stops. There was always a line out the door, but they gave us a free doughnut while we waited!

Muscat Shell Doughnuts and Mermaid Peach...we didn't try these!

One day we went to the island of Odaiba. It's a man-made island that is just over the Rainbow Bridge. You take the monorail to get there and to get around the island. We saw some great views of Tokyo from there!

Odaiba was really fun, they had street performers all around.

Odaiba also had the Toyota museum - guess this is a car of the future.

I thought the price looked so funny! 6 million dollars?!?

They also had The Statue of Liberty there...not sure why!

There was lots of interesting architecture in Tokyo.

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 6:25 PM
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Friday, July 31


Ok, I worked hard to post LOTS of updates of what we have been doing lately. We are excited to officially be on Summer Break for the next 2 weeks!

Tomorrow we are heading to Tokyo for a couple of days of sightseeing and eating American food - Krispy Kreme, Outback, Mexican...we'll see what other tastes of home we can find in the Big City! I promise to post lots of pictures next week when we're back!

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 11:23 PM
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This past weekend was the Youchien (Kindergarten) Summer Festival. It was so much fun and so unbelievable to see all of the amazing-ness of the Youchien teachers. They put so much work into making it an amazing event!

The English teachers had a booth of face painting, which was so great, the kids loved it! Unfortunately no pictures of that since we were both working. But here are LOTS of pictures from the fun day!

More Summer Yukatas - this is Katherine and her teacher.

This is me and one of my 6th grade girls, Madoka. Yes, everyone really does put up the peace sign when you take a picture.

The teachers dressed in costumes and did dances to Super-hero theme songs on the stage.

This is Chris amused by all of the students dancing to the music. The students practiced in school.

The students dancing.

The back of the Yukatas - aren't the bows so cute?


The Youchien teachers dressed up, again, to go act out a play of The Peach Boy (a famous Japanse story).

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 10:58 PM
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