June 11th 1998, a Thursday
Today, a two hour train ride took us from Kyoto to Tokyo, as planned. Again, Mrs. Tanaka met us, but instead of taking us around, she and Mr. C took all the luggage to the hotel from the station so we had time to go to the Ueno Zoo. That meant that we would have to figure out the Tokyo Subway system ourselves.
Of course, with Sara and Sophie as our leaders, we got there . Had I any doubts? The zoo ended up to be quite small (compared to our Henry Doorly Zoo), but I still liked it. The tigers were the main attraction, two cubs and one mother.
The zookeepers began to close down the zoo at 3:15, only forty-five minutes after we had gotten there. It was funny seeing the zookeepers try to get two hippos out of their water and into another cage. Hippos can stay underwater without air for a long time, so this made the job even more difficult. When the 'keeper wasn't watching, one would pop up for air and sink back down. Eventually, a crowd of people had gathered to see the hippos get out, and found the game of hide and seek funny.
For dinner, the Tanaka's, Mr. & Mrs., were taking us out. We met at the hotel and proceeded to the restaurant, a steakhouse where we cooked our own meat. Like a grocery store, we chose from thin, cut meat that was in a fridge. We took the raw meat back to our table where, on a one-foot diameter gas grill, we cooked the meat. It was buffet style, so I shoved in as much food as I could. Originally, we were to go to Hard Rock Cafˇ, Tokyo, tonight, but everyone was too full for anything more, including dessert.
Instead, we went to the Tanaka's house, only a short walk from the steakhouse. There, we watched a video that had been made and we signed guest books. James and Mrs. Tanaka even played some piano for us. Their two dogs were a lot of fun too, as they enjoyed all of our attention.
Too soon, it got late and we went home. Everyone fit in their Mercedes and their Volvo (which had the steering wheel on the left, not the standard as in America).
Believe it or not, a skiing trip was planned for the next day, so upon our return to the Asia Center, I showered and went to sleep.