Last week I got to head down to Tokyo to see this wonderful woman for the first time in over two years…my mom!!
My mom was traveling Japan on a creator’s tour, visiting famous locations and participating in interesting craft activities, all of which culminated in two days at the “TOKYO International Great Quilt Festival 2020.” Lucky for me, she arrived in Tokyo a couple days before the event and had her evenings free! Her tour was staying at the Tokyo Dome hotel, right next to the event, so I arrived Wednesday evening and took a train over to Tokyo Dome for the first time ever. The dome is famous for sports, music, and cultural events. I’ve often heard about it from students, but have never had the chance to see it myself. The dome, the nearby amusement park, and the hotel were all a sight to behold.
I headed for the check-in counter, and just as I stepped up a felt a tap on my shoulder.
One of my mom’s tour friends snapped this two-year reunion hug. And, while the confused front desk staff tried to get us to pay for my room, mom’s tour friends came up to say hello and we talked about how their travels had been so far.
We made our way up to my room, on the 25th floor, and talked while looking out over the city. One of my favorite things about Tokyo is the endless city lights, and the clear skies allowed us a beautiful view.
For dinner we went out for some delicious gyoza (pot stickers) at a specialty restaurant nearby.
The next day we decided to go to the nearby onsen (hot bath) and relax. The tour had been going non-stop since they arrived and some rest and rejuvenation was in order. But first, brunch at a bread shop!
We filled up our tray with some delicious rolls and sweets, got some coffee, and headed to the terrace. It was a rainy day and all the covered seats were taken, but some kind women moved so we could sit in a dry patch.
After a few minutes they leaned over and offered us a couple hand-made drink holders! They were in the area for the quilt show as well, and had brought hand-made items to share at the event. My mom got a beautiful floral pattern and I got a Star Wars holder to take home. It made a special morning even more memorable.
After brunch we headed to the onsen “Spa La Qua” and relaxed. It felt a lot more like a resort than the onsen I’ve visited before, with digital wristbands that acted as locker key and scanned payment at the shops inside. The spa had very relaxing saunas and baths, as well as a large recliner area. But we didn’t stay for naps. After the hot baths we headed off tot the train station bound for Nippori. We were going to fabric town!
We timed our visit to meet up with the tour group, so my mom could introduce me to her friends from the trip. But the main attractions were the fabric and accessory stores that lined this part of town.
I’ve talked to many of my students about the trip since returning, and it seems like this part of town isn’t very well known, but it was certainly one of the most interesting places I’ve been in Tokyo so far. Blocks of specialty stores, from high-end to wholesale, each with their own unique customer base. Very fun to experience.
And with that we headed back to the hotel. I had to pack and be off to Tokyo Station to catch a night bus to the airport. We spent our last few hours together at Denny’s (I know…) talking with some of the tour members. And then had to say goodbye. My mom had the big quilt event the next morning, and I had to head back to work.
Although brief, it was a wonderful trip! Lots of catching up, lots of new sights, and some great new experiences. The trip was way too short, but the time was well spent. And, if I’m going to be honest, the only thing that makes me happier than seeing my mom, is seeing my mom while she’s in her element walking around a place called “Fabric Town.”
So that was my trip! Let me know what you thought about my trip, or just what you’re thinking in general down in the comments below! In my next blog I’ll be talking about some big music releases that happened this week, and well as introducing my new music recommendations page!
Stay creative – E