Tuesday was our day reserved for traveling from Wakaba (outside Tokyo) where Jim and Amy Smith live to Takatsuki (outside Osaka) where George and Ellen King live. While we were getting ready to leave Jim’s house there was a small earthquake. Jenelle didn’t feel it at all. I was in a small room and I thought someone kicked the wall because there was a small thump and a shake. There was no damage or anything. The Japanese don’t even talk about the earthquakes unless there is damage because they are so common. But to us foreigners it gives us something interesting to blog about. 🙂

We packed up our clothes and things we needed for the part of our trip with the Kings.  We were able to leave some things at the Smiths house since the end of our trip we will return there, so that was helpful to not have so much to carry with us.

Before we left we stopped at the post office and were able to send our son Simon and Moe’s brother Sou birthday cards.

We had to make a connection through Tokyo station. The station was very crowded. We had ekiben for lunch. They were cold station lunches in a box. Jenelle’s had cold chicken and some rice in it. Mine had a bunch of mystery items since I always want to try the local food. Jim and the two of us sat on the stairs in the station and had lunch together. The culture shock is in full swing for us. Japan is completely backwards from the United States. Almost everything done in daily life is completely different. Even the most simple things like paying for something or eating have a different procedure.

We got onto the Shinkansen (bullet train) to head towards Osaka. This train is extremely fast and levitates off the ground. It feels and looks like a jet plane except it never leaves sight of the ground. On our Shinkansen ride we had planned on trying to get caught up on our blog, balance our finances, and read a book that Pastor Kevin had prescribed for us. However, the train ride offers us views of the Japanese cities and countryside that we can’t get anywhere else so we weren’t able to get a whole lot done. We also got to see Mt. Fuji which is a dormant volcano that lies on the horizon for much of the Tokyo area. The tracks are about 30 feet off the ground so you can see over the sea of buildings that usually block your view when you’re walking around. Some of the cities here feel endless and you’re zooming through them on the train. There are so many people here.

Ruth King met us at the Kyoto train station and we took a connecting train to Takatsuki. Ellen King picked us up in her car and took us to the old church building where we are staying for this phase of the trip. We got to meet D.J. who is a BBC student who is spending the summer here with the Kings. He desires to be a career missionary in Japan and is here to confirm his missionary call. He started desiring to be a missionary to Japan in 2004, which was the same year as me.

We attended prayer meeting which is on the bottom floor of the building where we are staying. There were 13 people there for the prayer meeting. They sang familiar hymns in Japanese, allowed us to share our prayer requests, and briefly shared our testimonies.  It was very personal and casual.

We’ve been going nonstop and our bodies and minds are feeling the effects of exhaustion. Tomorrow we get to go to Niihama and see a city with no Baptist churches!! Thanks for praying for us!