From Wednesday, December 11th through Monday, December 16th (Tokyo time), I was in Japan with my mom and other members of the Cambridge Community Chorus of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following are some of the many pictures I took during that time.
Click any thumbnail to see the bigger version of that picture. The majority of these pictures are 800x600 pixels in size. Unless otherwise indicated, all pictures were taken with my Hewlett-Packard Photosmart 315 digital camera.


On Thursday (Day Two), a small group of us traveled to Tsukuba (pronounced "scuba"), a city in Japan that is the Sister City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. (City of Tsukuba website, City of Cambridge website) There we took place in a welcoming ceremony attended by the mayor of Tsukuba and many members of the city council. Afterward, we briefly visited the mayor's home.

The Ceremony

Most of these pictures are of people from the Cambridge Chorus or from Tsukuba. Since you don't know these people, you might want to skip these pictures, so I haven't made thumbnails of them.

Members of our delegation listening to someone explain what's going to happen in the ceremony. From left to right: Chris Nelson, Florence Grant, Alice Lawrence, Toni Fitch, Samantha Morrison, Rick Nelson.
A partial view of the impressive buffet spread that our Japanese hosts had prepared for us.
More of the buffet table. (Can you tell what was on my mind during the ceremony?)
My mom, Rena, chatting with one of the Tsukuba citizens.
Ken Reeves, former mayor of Cambridge (left) exchanging business cards with a former mayor of Tsukuba (right). The woman in the picture was our guide for the trip from Tokyo to Tsukuba, and I don't know who the other man is.
Larry Philbrick of Cambridge talking with one of the Tsukuba mayor's aides.
More of the same
The mayor of Tsukuba gives a speech in Japanese, with his female aide translating into English.
My mom (pink striped shirt) talking with the Tsukuba mayor's official translator. The other women in the photo are, L-R, a member of Tsukuba city council, Florence Grant, and Alice Lawrence.

The Mayor's House

Following are some pictures of our expedition to the home of the mayor of Tsukuba. His house is in traditional Japanese style, rather than the more Western style often used in newer construction in Japan.

The house grounds, taken from inside our bus.

Another view of the grounds, from the path leading to the house. The building pictured is not the main household building but I'm not sure what it is.

The view through the main gate into the courtyard leading to the main house.

A somewhat blurry shot of the cat that hung around outside the house and took a liking to me. She kept circling round and round my legs and wouldn't hold still long enough for a proper picture.

View of the backyard of the house.

Decorative stones set into the ground in the backyard.

Closer view of one of the stone lanterns in the backyard. This is probably about three or four feet high.

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joan the english chick
last updated 15 January 2003