18 June, 2013

Unusual week

This week is an unusual one. Our two youngest sons are at a summer camp till Friday. Yesterday I spent much of the day getting them there (packing, naming etc. and then driving took two hours each way, thankfully I was just the passenger).

When I got home at 4.30, there was no one at home. That in itself was strange. I had some coffee and headed off to the gym at 4.45. Who knew? It's not often that I'm free at that time of day. Then it was just David and I and our 14 y.o. for dinner. On my, it's a different atmosphere, that's for sure.

Today we did something entirely different. David is working all week, so I knew that I'd have to do something to spice up the week for our teenager. Then a local friend asked if I'd be interested in doing a fun project. Someone in the States who runs a team building company that specialises in Scavenger hunts (what a job!). He wanted someone to help him create a demo hunt for a Japanese training company in Tokyo. It was to be around Ueno Park which has a famous zoo plus a number of museums on the premises.

My local friend couldn't do it, but asked if we were interested. It was the perfect thing to spend a day doing with my teenager. He's got a sharp eye for detail and loves maps. We had a fun time. It was a novel experience, to spend that much time alone with him, but I enjoyed it.

It was tiring though, the temperatures are getting high and the humidity is high too. We spent most of the day on our feet (including the train trip to the park). But it was interesting to have a different objective in an outing. It felt like we were English Detectives (the project was particularly to look for signs that are in English or bilingual)

Here are some photos he took:

An enlarged copy of "The Thinker" outside the Museum of Western Art. Bijutsukan (Art Galleries/Museum): a word I protested about learning in my early months in Japan, saying I was uninterested in them. But I finally ended up visited one. All I can say is that this visit hasn't convinced me it is a word I'm going to use much in the future.
One of the English signs in the zoo.
I was there!
A Hair Pagoda? 
Herb garden on the top of the National Museum of Nature and Science
Torii: entrance to a Shrine (no we didn't go in).
This was the find of the day: the nature and science museum had many of these on every floor. It is a multilingual explanation of nearby exhibits. Wonderful!
By the time we got to the museums in the afternoon I felt like we were casing the joints! We raced through the six floors of the science museum fast and the art museum even faster. I hoped we didn't look too suspicious!

So now we get to write up our scouting report: that indeed there is much potential for an English-based scavenger hunt in this area. We'll see if he sends us back to do a more detailed sketch that could form a draft scavenger hunt.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

What a great day. That sounds like all sorts of fun.