Thursday, July 06, 2006

Castles and shopping ...


This morning we went to Nagoya Castle which we can see from our hotel room. It was really interesting and pretty! There were deer (we think) in what used to be a mote outside of the castle. We (as a country) don't have much of a past at all compared to the things that we saw today...it was amazing some of the things that have survived for 500+ years! It was 7 stories tall and the top is basically an enclosed viewing area, so it was fun being able to look at the whole city from so high. It is in the city but there aren't as many high buildings around so you could see so much more than we can see from our 45th floor room from one side of a double tower.

This after noon we took the subway to Osu Kannon and walked around (for FOREVER!!) and did a little shopping. There are a lot of fun little shops there. I have gotten really good at figuring out where to go and when with the subway which is good. Then tonight for dinner we ate at Hard Rock Cafe, which was nice hearing music we know and knowing exactly what we were eating.

Tomorrow Jonathan has to go to work for a couple of hours so I will be on my own! It will be weird for me to be here without him, but I can do it!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vroom, Vroom, Vroom ... woops, wrong manufacturer


This morning we were picked up by Lease Japan. They took us to two dealers; actually dealerships in Japan are different than in the states in that they don't all sell the same cars, dealerships can only sell certain models so there are 4 different types of Toyota dealerships in Japan. Anyway, we visited a dealership that sold bB's and another that sold Ractis' (pictured). We chose 5 vehicles (models/grades) and Lease Japan will work out the numbers (inculding insurance) and e-mail us with a monthly lease price. We chose 3 bB's and 2 Ractis'. The bB is basically a Scion xB. The Ractis is an Asian market car ... and has lots of room, the main reason we were interested in it is because one option is for a moon roof, not one that opens up, but 2/3 of the roof is glass. Anyway, we will see what we can afford with our allowances when we get our quotes back.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A House and Intestines?


So today we finished our home finding part of the trip. We successfully visited and found a house that we like. It is called a U.S. Import House and is similar to a townhouse, there are 2 units. We are lucky because it has all major appliances and amenities that we will need: washer dryer, oven, refrigerator, central A/C, etc. The only item we will probably purchase or try to get from a leaving ICT is a microwave ... due to the power differences, U.S. microwaves just don't work very well at all in Japan. It is very nice and has a HUGE living/dining room area and a nice size kitchen. The pictures are of our new "house."

For lunch today we at a Japanese pancake-house, it was SO good! They bring you a bowl with the ingredients in it and you mix it up (Jonathan is really good at this part). You then dump the contents onto a hot plate on the table (similar to what you see at a Bennihana's only smaller) and let it cook for around 5-10 minutes on each side. When finished you cut it like a pizza and eat it with chopsticks.

For dinner we met some Japanese friends in Toyota at a Korean BBQ restaurant, it was REALLY good!! They bring you out plates of raw meat (you can also get vegi's) and you put it on the grill (loacated in the middle of the table) and cook it. When it is finished you dip it into some small saucers of sauces and spices. We can now say that we have had domestic Japanese beef (very good, it is marbled with fat), cow tongue (actually very tasty!), cow heart (also surprisingly tasty), pork (not bad, no taste really just chewy), chicken cartelidge, and cow intestine (NOT GOOD!). Overall we had a really good time and a lot of really good food, and got to try lots of new things!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Homefinding Day 1

We went to 5 homes/apartments today and are pretty sure we have found the house we want to stay in. I won't go into a lot of detail today but we will tomorrow when we decide what property we select.

We went to a Mall for lunch today and ate dinner at an Asian style restaurant across from the Marriott. We walked to Hard Rock Cafe to get a couple things and then back to the hotel. Ashley is pooped out on the bed. We were lucky today as it didn't rain, but it is very humid right now.

**NOTE**
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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Flying across the pond

Ashley and I are in our hotel room and just got the computer hooked up. We had a very uneventful 12 hour flight. We took a taxi from the Chubu International Airport to the Nagoya Marriott. We are staying on the 45th floor ... the hotel doesn't even start until the 15th floor. We are watching Japanese baseball and are getting ready to go eat and then come back and get settled in.

Ashley's first impressions are, "It's green and big." My first impression when I came over for the first time was it was very neony (that is the state of being neon)!

We will meet our ReloJapan representative tomorrow morning at 9:30 and go on a home finding expedition!

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