The time had come for the boy’s birthday, and Eric had found a Ninja training store. After another relaxed morning, we headed out for the Dojo. Upon arriving, we changed into our Ninja outfits and began training. We learned of Ninja meditation, trick walls in Ninja houses, how to walk silently like a Ninja (watch out! I’m behind you!) even in the dark. The real fun, though, was trying out all the Ninja weapons. The grass cutter, sword work, dagger. Grand finale was the shuriken and blowgun. The lesson ended with the kids begging and begging for me to buy them a real metal shuriken. I may have given in, because, hey, there may be some adults too who want to practice their skills.I break the Ninja code of secrecy to bring you these photos.
We then went to Gion, or the geisha area, with my only goal to see a geisha and walk about the scenic neighborhood. At this point, though, Eric had gotten into a snit about something and he was hungry (probably someone yelled at him or stepped on his toes and he’s perpetually annoyed in Japan because he has to duck his head everywhere) and then the kids were sniping and our time in Gion became a scuttle through the streets to get back home. No geisha were spotted during this walk and we all ended up annoyed by the end of it. On the plus side, the Kyrgystani man sitting next to us at the okonomiyaki place we ate at heard us talking about Harry Potter and told us there was a Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Osaka. He also told us he was a Slytherin, so we weren’t sure whether to believe him or not. This was before Eric took the sorting quiz and was sorted into Slytherin himself. Figures.
I wish I could tell you that we didn’t get into a big fight that night, but that would be a lie. In the end, though, all was worked out and I think maybe it was just the inevitable explosion after so much close togetherness for so many weeks on end. I felt like afterwards the air was clearer and I think we all felt a bit lighter to tell you the truth.
Except I still didn’t get to see a geisha.