Each trip to Tokyo (this is number 9!) is a new experience. Some things are familiar, but much is not. I was lucky enough to have an empty seat beside me on the plane, so I arrived less wiped out than usual. In a new apartment, I'm right across the street from the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. This is where the film, "Lost in Translation" was filmed and is a magnet for the wealthy and less adventurous. Surrounded by Armani, Rolex, Starbucks, etc, I could be in any big city.
Fortunately, from my window, looking the opposite direction to the west, through the skyscraper forest, I have a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji! The first time I've ever seen it - usually too much humidity in the summer air. Before I left Montana, I had been leading weekly meditations, to help people shift out of fear into more empowered ways of being. I presented the idea of 'becoming' a mountain, using breath as wind to clear cloudy thoughts, drawing strength from roots deep in a powerful Earth and vitality from the warmth of the sun. I am delighted to have Mt. Fuji, the most sacred of all Japanese mountains, as my daily reminder!
It is crisp and cold here, and because of the wind, it feels as cold as below zero temperatures in Bozeman! I'm looking forward to the onset of spring in a couple weeks, with the onset of the plum blossoms.
Sunday evening, after a long weekend of client sessions, my interpretor and friend, Yu, took me on a dining adventure. Okonomiyaki is a restaurant style where you sit on the floor with a very HOT griddle on your table. I would not want to eat this way in Tokyo's summertime, but it is perfect for a winter night. They bring bowls of raw ingredients (cabbage, egg, meat, seafood) and you fry it up into a large pancake. Then it is covered in a syrupy sauce and sprinkled with dried Bonito. Tasty. We also enjoyed grilling whole scallops, pork strips, and yakisoba noodles. It was delicious, and we ate WAY TOO MUCH! In the spirit of being a brave foreign visitor, I had to sample the Sweet Potato Shochu (like vodka), and found it strong but delicious.
I am not sure, but I think the wait-staff had me confused with someone famous, because they were more gracious than usual. They were very eager to have their photo taken with me, and I played along. It's always more fun to engage, even without language skills. Here's my new friends from the kitchen at Dohtonbori Okonomiyaki, Hiro-o.
I have to admit that having a break from the daily and immediate drama of our country's current politics is refreshing. I am taking a deep breath, blowing away the cloudy thoughts of turmoil and fear, and gathering my strength. Each day from my window, I have a reminder to do so.
Sending strength and love,