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Our Summer 2008

October 30, 2008


I underestimated the difficulties that come along with being separated from the family during ETP. In springtime the situation grew really uncomfortable and I had to take a first leave from the program in May. Fortunately everything went very well from then on. We spent a lot of time with the kids and made some excursions in and around Berlin.

Sakura in Berlin’s Bötzow quarter where we live near the Friedrichshain park.

Berlin is a city with lots of lakes, rivers, parks and forests. Here we are at Wannsee

It was still a little chilly outside, but the kids had definitely fun


By the end of Juli I went to Europe again, picked my wife up in Berlin and headed to Florence. We had five days without children, something every couple should have once in a while. We go like every year to Italy and we were never disappointed. Both of us speaking Italian – Motoko is even fluent – we have always a great time there. We first stayed two days in Florence in a nice little hotel right next to Ponte Vecchio with rooftop view on the old city. I wanted to rent a classy car, a cabriolet of course. But they were all gone and so we had to take what was left. And that was the new Fiat Cinqucento (500). How lucky! It’s a wonderful car and we were very happy to travel on this speedy little thing through Toscana. We went for agritourismo close to Montepulciano where we stayed at a renewed farm with a swimming pool. From there we made daily excursions to Pienza and Montalcino.

View from our nice hotel in Florence

Happy Cinquecento driver!

We also made an excursion to Fiesole, a beautiful and romantic village in the mountains above Florence.

Agritoursimo at Montepulciano

View from Pienza

Mo and I, we both love photography. Toscana offers some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen

Cinquecento, what can I say. Great car!



Back in Germany we had just one day to get everything packed for us an the three kids, but we managed it. The flight to Tokyo was smooth, kids loved looking videos for hours. The last summers with the kids in Tokyo in 2005 and 2007 were difficult because of the extreme heat and humidity and the total indifference of children for the excitements of big cities. This time it was different. We had really big fun.

Tokyo 360° Sky View in Mori Art building on 57th floor

We played around with “purikura”, the popular photo booth and the stickers they produce. We liked the results!

One of the nicest beaches around Tokyo is Hayama, next to Kamukura. Here a view on the riff and surfers

Wonderful beach bar, mostly hippies hanging out there until late night

Training in a karate dojo with some friends. I did 20 years Taekwondo, that helps

Mo at Lotus Calyx

Toni, half Japanese and half Italian like all three kids, gets his first genuine Japanese haircut

Suits him, but he’s not sure yet

These kids love onsen

The Seta Onsen in Futakutamagawa is a very beautiful one; from this outside pool called rotenburo you can see mount Fuji and sip your cocktail or beer that is served at the tiny bar.

Komazawa park is 10 minutes walk from my place. It was part of 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Here the old pool, now already greenish. In August we were swimming here. The whole park doesn’t look like Tokyo or Japan, rather like a former east European capital with crumbling monuments of communism.

Please join for a tour through the park on my running course. I bet it is the best place for jogging, yet I haven’t tried the one in Meji Jingu that Murakami has recommended in his book What I talk about when I talk about running.

This was weather in Jiyugaoka as of today, October 30th, when I learned for the final exams in Japanese during the lunch break on our rooftop. This is by far the best season in Tokyo. For me, the end of summer has not yet arrived.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. JFB permalink
    October 30, 2008 3:10 pm

    Nice rooftop in Tokyo.

  2. Michela permalink
    July 9, 2009 1:17 pm

    Reginald, congratulations on your beautiful, handsome family. The greatest gift one can give to children is of course love, but also the wide expanse of international, diverse cultural horizons. Yours are certainly blessed with both.

  3. February 8, 2010 8:03 am

    Hi Im a 22yr old college student in ohio in the U.S and i just stumbled onto your page and seen all your wonderful experiences. Family, Work , play etc you seem to be having fun and doing it well. I do have a different question if you wouldn’t mind me asking…. What do you do (work)? Does your job take you overseas? Is there maybe some advice you can give to me. Like i said im a college student and i actually just came back from studying at Nanzan University in Nagoya Japan (learning japanese). I really love to learning (expecially languages) and experience different cultures around the world. But to be honest I dont know yet many opportunities I can take these skills of languages to work overseas. So I humbly ask you to please share some of your experience with me so maybe I can get an idea or maybe study differently in college. Thanks!!!!!

  4. August 16, 2010 11:39 am

    Ahh jealous, the Fiat 500 looks so fun

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