Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Back in Japan after 45 Years!

Japan – October 10-20, 2014
On my return from the Japan-Okinawa mission in 1971, I had a brief stop over in Tokyo. Didn’t see much of it then but since coming to Tokyo last week to join Luke for 10 days he has arranged for us to see much of this massive and sprawling town of 12 million. The sights and sounds of a place I loved so much in my missionary years has been a welcomed renewal.
In Tokyo at Meiji Shrine.  The Tori gate wood is over a 1000 years old
On the first full day here, we had the sheer delight of visiting a Japanese missionary with whom I served in Hiroshima when first arriving in Japan – Yosohachi Honda. Fortunately, he married one of the strongest converts I ever met – Sister Ito. They have since had 6 children (a very large family in Japan), and we spent a wonderful evening together. Sister Honda (Ito) made a delicious meal and we remembered our years together with great fondness. In addition to meeting many of Luke's friends and mentors in Japan (of which he has many!) and enjoying meals with them, we have visited a clothing exhibition with photos of Luke modeling for a company; seen many of his modeling shots in local high-class magazines; and biked and walked through some of the richest shopping areas in the world.  We also attended church at the Tokyo ward where the complex takes in the temple, Presiding Bishopric and Area Presidency offices.  We had dinner with several of the senior couples who serve in the area and noted again how many senior couples are blessing the church around the world.

Luke and I also took time to be tourists, going to shrines and the “old city”. Luckily at one shrine we encountered a Shinto wedding ceremony.

In honor of a great woman known for her
humanitarian aid work in early Japan
Now we are on the “bullet train” headed south to places I served while a missionary: Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima, and perhaps the island of Kyushu. The bullet train, is also called “Hikari” – both indicating traveling at the speed of a bullet, or speed of light. It does move right along at up to 190mph, and is a great way to see Japan -- quickly!  I'll close the day with a few more shots from Nihon to each of you -- all my love, Tom/Dad


Matt said...

So great to see you made it and have a great tour guide. Amazing that you two are there. Keep the pics coming!

The Bailey's said...

What an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing the great pics.

Fowler family said...

This is so neat Tom and Luke! Looks like a beautiful country. We have good friends in Nerima, Tokyo- Mike and Rui Zeller. Let us know if you want us to connect you with them. Mike is one of James' best friends from childhood, and I believe he and his wife served missions in Japan too.

Vicki Rinne said...

What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. Heikki and Vicki