Back in Miyakonojo, back at school, back to my wee flat, it's hard not to get sentimental looking back at these pictures. Over Christmas I was lucky enough to have my family come out and visit me. I generally don't really enjoy the whole #blessed thing but I felt incredibly lucky to have them with me, experiencing this crazy, amazing country. Seeing their amazement at everything - from the strange toilets to the transport employees bowing at our buses as they pulled away from bus stops - made me see Japan with new eyes again and renewed my feelings about it. I may or may not have spent the whole flight jiggling with glee in my seat.
Since I had a few hours to kill before they arrived at our hotel in Roppongi, a great shopping district, I treated myself with my first ever meal out alone, and set about decorating our rooms Buddy the elf style.
Needless to say, we were pretty happy to see each other. Jack seems to have grown yet again, but apart from that, it was literally like I saw them just yesterday. Jet lagged and exhausted, we collapsed into bed.
But, first thing the next morning, we headed out to explore Roppongi to say...
GOOD MORNIN TOKYO!
Here we are on top of the Mori building, and as luck would have it, the clear sky gave us a wonderful view of Fujiyama.
I'm posting a mix of my own, my brother's and my Dad's pictures here (with mine probably being the worst quality). Dad got a camera for an early Christmas present and it was great to have him snapping away again.
When we sufficiently awed and excited, we headed inside the building to the fantastic modern art museum.
The piece above is in fact a massive ant farm! A rather clever and beautiful comment on globalisation, and one of my favourite exhibits in the gallery.
These weren't in the gallery but were gorgeous enough to be mistaken for modern art.
We spent the rest of the afternoon Christmas shopping in Omotesando and Harajuku... and doing a fair bit of window shopping too. We just had to look around the fantastic Prada building.
Pet shop in Roppongi
Back at our hotel, we set about the very serious business of CHRISTMAS. That means mum's homemade stockings, presents, and White Christmas, of course.
Christmas morning dawned bright and early in Tokyo and we felt even more strange being together on the other side of the world.
It wouldn't be kurisumasu without some genuine Japanese gifts... not pictured is the magnificent blowfish fashioned into an adorable bowl complete with handle. I know, I spoil them.
You can't sit with us.
Walking to mass on sunny Christmas morning.
It was rather nice, full of foreigners all brought together for a brief moment, a band of singers and violins, and the smell of Christmas dinner somehow wafting in from somewhere.
We had our own rather non-traditional Christmas dinner waiting for us! Beautiful steaks and wine, and despite not having any crackers, silly chat.
Full and contented, we walked off our dinner round the block.
The rest of the day was dedicated to the best kind of activities; napping, silly games, cocktails, movies, and chocolate consumption, all while gazing out at the Tokyo skyline.
I love everything about Christmas at home, but really we had everything we needed just being together.