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Lesson: Peaceful Garden in Tokyo

Setting the scene:

      Dad takes the family to Tokyo, largest city in Japan, because he has a teaching assignment there. Due to a work schedule, the family members are on their own to visit the city. They meet a Japanese executive and his teenage daughter in a quiet garden. The two Japanese offer to guide the family to other local sites.

People in This Story:
  • Hitomi (teenage girl); Mom; Mel; Wes; Yuri (executive)
  • Brand Name or Company Name item is in green.
  • Slang terms are linked to the Slang Dictionary. Click on the term to view its meaning.
  • "Speed Talk" is in pink; meaning is in [brackets].


    Mel:       Mom, whatcha think? [What do you think?] Where do we go first? You know that I want to shop in the Ginza.

    Wes:       That's no surprise. You always want to shop. Are we getting a guide, Mom?

    Mom:       We can make do. Your father is very busy this week. There are so many places to see in Tokyo, but the city is huge. We'll have to study the subway system and tourist maps to figure out how to go anywhere.

    [A businessman wearing a dark suit notices the confused family.]

    Yuri:       Excuse me. You appear to be lost. May I be of assistance? This is my daughter, Hitomi.

    Hitomi:   Hello. Are you new to Japan?

    Mom:       Yes, we are. My husband is teaching computer courses at a large corporation this week. We want to see a few local places. Specifically, I hope to visit a nice garden.

    Hitomi:    May I recommend a Japanese garden near here? It is very peaceful and beautiful.

    Mom:       That sounds like a good place to start.

    Yuri:       We can take you there now. It truly is a lovely garden.

    Hitomi:    And I can take a picture of you.

    [Later, Yuri takes the group to view cherry blossoms.]

    Yuri:       This is Ueno Park.

    Mom:       Very pretty, but it's also crowded with people. Is it always like this?

    Yuri:       Only when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Japanese people enjoy nature and gardens.

    Mel:       Dad likes gardens, too. He once made a Japanese style one with a tori entrance. He built a Thai sala in our backyard now.

    Wes:       Yeah, and he likes art. Here are samples of his Japanese style water colors.

    Hitomi:    This winter scene reminds me of Hyonosen in Hokkaido. I like it. There is another famous mountain on the island. It is called Mount Tokachi.

    Yuri:       Excuse me. After your husband completes his teaching duties, it will be our honor to show you sites outside of Tokyo. I have homes in Hokkaido and Kyoto.

    Wes:       Wow, we could see some cool places and have a hot time!

    Mom:       That's extremely generous of you, Mister Yuri. We accept the kind invitation.

    Hitomi:    Perhaps you can teach me American slang and idioms. It is difficult to understand the strange way you speak.

    Wes:       No sweat. Glad to do it.

    [Two weeks later, Hitomi accompanies the family and acts as a tour guide to various locations in central Japan. Click here to see the following story: Famous Shrines.]

  • © Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst