Solbit Asks, “Can We Go Back to Tokyo, Please?”

  • New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Nona and Papa said I could write my own letter to you today.  They think I’m learning how to write, but my spelling is not too good. They said they would “edit” my letter.  “Edit” means that they read what I write.  They try to find my mistakes.  Then, when they find a mistake, they fix it, but I have to read it again to make sure they didn’t make me say something I didn’t want to say. It’s a lot of work, but I don’t mind, because I’m excited to tell you about my trip with Nona & Papa.  Here goes!

Well, first, I’ll give you the bad news.  You know we’ve been in Kyoto, and I got lost.  Well, that’s not the bad news.  We had been in Tokyo, where I had a good time, and now we’re in Kyoto, and it’s different.  The bad news is that I miss Tokyo. I want to go back there.

Why? Look at this.  Here’s me in Kōrakuen Garden in Tokyo:

Image 1 Solbit Rocks Garden

My good news is my memory of the beautiful garden.  Wouldn’t you want to go back, too?  Papa says that part of enjoying travel is remembering where you visited and why you enjoyed it.  Memories are good. Don’t you agree?

Guess what we saw on the street on our way to the Korakuen Gardens?  A glass & steel building that looked like a cicada. No kidding.  What’s a cicada?  Google it, please, I don’t have time to explain; just know it’s a big insect.  See:

IMG_6473 GlassCicada

is that a cicada?

The Korakuen Gardens in Tokyo were designed by a Chinese political refugee and construction began in 1629.  I don’t know what a “political refugee”** is, but I’m pretty sure that 1629 was a long time ago, almost one, two, three, four hundred years ago! (Nona says I can only use exclamation points once in a while, but this one belongs here.)  Nona liked the old moon bridge:

IMG_6491 BethMoonBrdg

Nona took photos of the Moon Bridge

I guess this Chinese design guy drew a really big plan, because our guide said that construction of the garden took 30 years.  (Nona removed my exclamation point when she edited this.)  Here’s our volunteer guide, Hiro Fukaya, in the gardens.

IMG_6476 HiroGuide

Our guide spoke English & Japanese and knew a lot. Solbit liked his colorful hat band.

He was friendly, spoke in English and Japanese, and knew a lot.  A gentleman from Argentina, Jorge, was in our group too.  He is an architect.  He knew a lot about gardens too. He said moving from one garden to another was like moving from one place in the world to another:

IMG_6490 RedBridge

Solbit liked this view from the red bridge and placement of the stones.

Jorge said that once upon a time these gardens were four times their current size of 20 acres (8 ha). He said that Korakuen means “garden of pleasure.”

The guide books say it is a pleasure to stroll through the garden for a few hours.  Every direction you look, you see a different type of garden.  I experienced pleasure just sitting on a wall in the shade and looking at the different views.

Image Solbit gazing Garden

Solbit takes one last view of Korakuen Garden before she has to leave.

So, I told Nona and Papa all this, and then I asked, “Can We Go Back to Tokyo, Please?”  Guess what they said?

“No!”  (I tried to take the exclamation point out here, but Nona put it back in.)

So, next time I write to you I guess it will be from Kyoto, again.  Even though we haven’t met yet, Nona and Papa tell me all about their grandkids, and I look forward to meeting you next year.  Even though we’re strangers, may I close with



September 2013

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

** WARNING:  Don’t ask Papa what “political refugee” means; I asked him.  Oh,  boy! (Nona kept this exclamation point.)  Papa had books and articles for me to read, and he started talking about a Cold War and a Soviet Union, about Central America Wars, about a US war in Vietnam, about China, about Chile, and on and on and on.  I tell you, I went to sleep, with my eyes open so he wouldn’t notice. He was so excited by my question that he wouldn’t let me go. Take my advice don’t get Papa started on this topic.

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