Fukushima is beautiful, it is all surrounded by rice fields and mountains.

Day 2 Tues May 17, 2005 Arrive Fukushima

As many of you know, Harold and I have been looking forward to this vacation a great deal. Of course to see Kazuo and Kyoko and Japan, but also because we are not in control, not in charge. We cannot speak the language, we do not know the culture, we did not make the arrangements. We are looking at this as our "zen" vacation, we will go with the flow.

We get to Tokyo, and on the airport terminal tram, the man next to me pulls out his art portfolio. He does not speak English, but manages to show me his cat, his visit to Niagara Falls back in the 1960, his fishing trip in Canada, his wife and his son. We're going to like it here. Before going on to Sendai, we have to pick up our luggage, and clear customs.

The first "zen" test, no luggage. In spite of the language barrier we somehow figure out that its really lost, apparently we made that close connection in Vancouver and it did not. Somehow I get all the lost luggage forms completed, with the help of some wonderful airline employees, who have extremely limited English. After they fill out lost luggage forms, they take us through customs personally, and we are on our way to Sendai. I leave Kazuo's phone number with them and hope for the best.

We arrive Sendai, and Kazuo and Kyoko are there to meet us as promised. And someone has called him about the luggage. Now we have a new problem. Its 3 AM in Vancouver, so they cannot be called, and by the time they open, Sendai will be closed for the night. They promise to call Kazuo tomorrow at 10 AM.

Kazuo and Kyoko have arranged a three day sight-seeing tour, with reservations, starting tomorrow morning. We have to leave at 6:45 AM. We are wearing our jeans and Harley vests and Harold is wearing his riding boots. Kazuo outfits us with gloves, chaps, face masks, leather coats and rain gear. I have to wear his hiking boots, which don't fit. An insert and three pair of socks take care of that. So far we are doing pretty good on the "zen" test.

We do have our camera's and our new portable and our toothbrushes and toothpaste.