Opera and Steel

What started out as a concert and overnight stay at the hotel in Tokyo became so much more.  The husband originally was going to go up with me on Monday afternoon, see the concert, spend the night then head home Tuesday but his work interrupted that plan and we adjust accordingly.  He could no longer stay the night and was going to hop the train back home after the concert, leaving me to get myself back to the hotel for a solo night stay and return home Tuesday on my own.

A few weeks before I was feeling a bit claustrophobic so checked the lodge to see if I could add Sunday night.  I could take my time going up Sunday, relax then have Monday to do whatever until meeting him for the concert that evening.  The reservation lady said the Japanese style room was requested when we booked, if it was available and sure enough it was so I ended up with a nice room for two nights.  Tatami mat floors, futon bed and pretty garden view.

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Then, I sent a note to one of the Tokyo bloggers I follow to see if she wanted to meet.  She enthusiastically agreed to meet up.

The weekend before this the husband and I had gone up to Tokyo to look at some Japanese sword shops and we each found one we wanted to own, both in the same shop but it was a big investment, these were the real thing, not just for show so we left and discussed over the next week whether we could and would jump in and make the purchases.  A couple of days before my little trip we decided we do want to and added me going to the shop on Tuesday before heading home to the list.

A few things that had us chuckling while walking around Tokyo:

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This fish isn’t so happy.

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With the cold weather comes hot stuff in the vending machines, here are three soups in a can you can try.

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Eel I think?

So, what started as a quick trip to Tokyo for a concert and overnight stay turned into:

Train up Sunday, check in to the hotel, grab dinner (order room service) and just chill out.  I brought my tablet and read, enjoying a quiet evening in a pretty room.

Met up with the blogger on Monday and we checked out a cool t.v. studio (I think the link is the right one) and her area of Tokyo.  We found a new place that specialized in gyoza (dumplings) for lunch.  It was really nice to meet her, thanks Eda!

Headed back to the hotel and got ready for the concert, went to meet the husband there and enjoyed an amazing show.  Sarah Brightman is beautiful, her voice is incredible.  I had first heard her and was actively listening to her music during a very difficult time in my life so seeing her in concert was very moving for me, in fact I shed tears that night and barely held it together.  It’s hard to maintain composure when you just want to break down and have a good snotty cry.  It was an experience I will never (hopefully) forget.  Click her name above to enjoy her beautiful voice.

The husband headed to his train station to start his long ride home and I to mine to get back to the hotel for my second night.  Read and relaxed again.

Tuesday morning enjoyed a traditional Japanese breakfast of salmon, homemade pickles, miso soup, rice and a few other little things.  Checked out and with my rolling carry-on suitcase made my way to the sword shop.

Made the deal with the merchant who was incredibly gracious and helpful.  He spoke very good English and was very thorough in explaining everything about them and how to clean them with the kit they gave us.

The husband got a Wakizashi which is a shorter version of the long Samurai sword and I am the new owner of an antique Tanto knife.  My blade was crafted in February of the 3rd year of the Eiroku era, which translates to the year 1560.  1560!!!  This blade is older than the settlement of America!  That blows my mind.  They threw in both display stands and the cleaning kit along with a very cool cloth as a gift to us for the purchase.

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The Husband’s Wakizashi Sword

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My Tanto knife

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My beauty!

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It’s a fantastic size, I do love it.

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This photo is to show how thick the top of the knife is. This is made to pierce armor, very unusual find. Normally Tanto blades are quite thin.

They wrapped up the two swords and attached a cool little handle so I could carry it easily and off I went to the train station rolling my luggage, purse hanging on my shoulder, umbrella hooked on my bag, gift bag with the accessories they threw in and a manual on how to clean and care for our new members of the family and lugging boxed up swords.  That got interesting, navigating train stations and going through ticket lanes with all that was a juggle I am proud to have accomplished.

The husband met me at our home train station to help carry some of it on base and put me in a taxi once through the gate to take me home and he went back to work with a huge smile on his face.

We are both in awe of the concert and our keepsakes from Japan.  Back when we found out we were coming to Japan we discussed it and knew we wanted to find and own real Japanese swords before leaving this amazing place and we are absolutely thrilled that we have accomplished that.  These will be family heirlooms and treasured pieces of our home.

I haven’t bragged about owning them on Facebook or otherwise, only a few people know we did this, it just feels super personal but it was a large part of my concert weekend and will embody our memories of living in Japan so I am sharing it with the few of you who actually read my blog.

Oh, we saw some Winter Illuminations (Caretta Shiodome) and Skytree Christmas where we enjoyed some warm wine and silly Santas.

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Santa goofy

Happy Holidays Everyone, may your hearth and home be blessed and your hearts be full.

6 thoughts on “Opera and Steel

  1. I’m glad you got to enjoy the concert, with an artist who means so much to you! What a lovely trip. I love ryokan and the traditional meals. I’m also very envious of the wakizashi and tanto ^^

    PS. The fish in the photo (marked “eel?”) are just really big fish. Bering wolffish and greenling according to the signs. They have long eel-like bodies, but they are fish family. I’m always amazed at the varieties of fish and vegetables in Japan that I’ve never had access to before.

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