Today I’m in Tokyo visiting my in-laws. I had a Zoom conference this morning with my director, and I managed to get some grading done.

We left Hirakata before 4:30 PM last night and arrived in Tokyo around 10 PM. The bus from Kansai Gaidai to Hirakata station was the busiest transport I’ve experienced so far. We took the local trains to the Shinkansen, so they were less crowded.

In the afternoon, I went for a walk around Nerima-Ku with my brother-in-law and his 3 daughters. You couldn’t ask for better walking weather. We walked for just over 2 hours, and my Fitbit reported a loss of 600+ calories (vacations are always fraught with eating, so I welcome any opportunity to get in some extra exercise). I taught them the English word “dandelion,” and I learned its Japanese counterpart, tanpopo (タンポポ). You couldn’t ask for better walking weather — the sky was clear, and I didn’t break a sweat after 2 hours of walking.

We finished the afternoon at dinner with the rest of the family at a Japanese restaurant called Hanaya Yohei.

Soba with chirashizushi, chawanmushi, and miso soup

Tomorrow, I will get up at 7 to go jogging with my brother-in-law again, and in the afternoon, my wife and I will go see Kabuki, followed by dinner at my mother-in-law’s.

I finished most of my grading, so I expect to knock the rest out in the next day or two.

My wife and her family go to bed early, so I’m able to get some writing done in the evenings.

Golden Week

Golden Week refers to a series of 3 holidays on which schools and offices close. This year it fell adjacent to the weekend on the calendar, so we get 5 days off. We hadn’t visited anyone since arriving in Japan last month, so Golden Week presented (I refuse to indulge such low-hanging wordplay) opportunity.

The Wikipedia entry on Golden Week in Japan says the following:

The National Holiday Laws, promulgated in July 1948, declared nine official holidays. Since many were concentrated in a week spanning the end of April to early May, many leisure-based industries experienced spikes in their revenues.


Many Japanese nationals take paid time off during this holiday, and some companies are closed down completely and give their employees time off. Golden Week is the longest vacation period of the year for many Japanese workers.

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