This is a free morning and we are packed ready to leave at 12:20 from hotel to get train to Nikko. We will have a sight-seeing trip tomorrow morning and return here to Okura Hotel tomorrow evening. We will travel by train to and from Nikko.
Yesterday a.m. we took a tour around city and the traffic here is the wildest. We stopped at the American Embassy, which is just around a curve from this hotel. I wanted to make some inquiries about UNICEF. We met the Chief Information Officer for USIS and he told us the taxi drivers are called by the same name we gave to the Japanese pilots during the war – which means suicide. We haven’t seen any accidents, but our guide told us yesterday there are a number of accidents every day and I think she said 2 people are killed and many more injured every day. The British system of driving is used and it is hard to get used to the driver being on the right side of car or bus. Our tour included the Tokyo TV tower and it is supposed to be the tallest structure of its kind in the world. We went up to observation tower, but there was so much smog we couldn’t see very far. Our tour also included a tea ceremony. To conclude ceremonial drinking tea for tea bowl one to be polite must make a sucking sound to get all the foam from bottom of bowl. There was a beautiful garden where we saw tea ceremony so took some pictures. We are having film developed as we travel. So far we have some very good pictures – taken in Hawaii. We stopped at silk gallery and one woman in group bought 2 kimonos but I thought prices a little high. I want to get some things made in H.K. so have to hold the spending down or pay duty. We rode around (one side) Royal Palace moat. That is as close as you can get – just look at the place from street – no visitors allowed. The King and Queen of Belgium are here and guide told us the extra police we saw all along the way were for security measures. Any policeman with yellow band on arm can speak English.
In the afternoon we went to a Dept. store and saw a lot of interesting things Japanese but also saw Hoover sweepers and other items from U.S. One thing that intrigues me is the way they dwarf plants. We took a picture in Dept. store of a counter full of plants. We saw Flowing Quince in bloom – You remember those enormous bushes you used to growl about just south of our terrace – they were Flowering Quince – but large. These little things we saw in bloom were the same thing only on a very small scale.
[page 2] Kabuki Theatre. John had said to see it. It is the old traditional play. All the actors are men – but some dressed like women. I wished we could have understood what they were saying. For some reason we didn’t get a program. We met a man from U.S. who was on plane across the isle from us. He is either Japanese or Chinese and is staying in this hotel. He lives in U.S. but is traveling here on business. We have talked to him several times. We have seen a few people who are not Japanese but when we were in store yesterday we, as far as I could see, were the only non-residents present. We leave here Sun. a.m. for Kyoto.
©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/01/american-embassy-and-unicef/