Monday, April 6, 2009

Tokyo Marathon 2009

Here's a benefit to living in an international city: world class sporting events. On March 21st, over 30,000 runners took part in the Tokyo Marathon, and the Johnsons saw some of them! We had a special reason for going to see the marathoners - two of the boys' teachers ran. Michael's second grade teacher Ms. Brown, and Sam's Teacher Mary both ran the marathon. 

That day was at the beginning of the boys' spring break, and to kick it off, we went down to Hibiya Park where we knew the runners would be going by. The marathon website said there would be tourist information at this particular park, which was fairly close to us, so we chose that location to watch. We arrived at the park around 11am, and stayed until past 1 pm, and there were athletes running by the entire time we were there.

Unfortunately, we missed seeing Ms. Brown and Teacher Mary. But we did see some costumes that did make you doubt the runner's seriousness. Or perhaps they just wanted their friends and family to be able to see them.

Michael and Sam were in hysterics at some of the crazy getup that some of the runners wore. We saw many cows, pandas, goofy pink wigged athletes, and a cello run by. 

It was a very windy day and rained off and on, luckily not enough to make us leave. After cheering on the athletes, we had some delicious street food from vendors in the park. 

I can't stress enough how good the food is here. In the US when you go to something like this, you expect to pay a lot of money for crappy food. Not here - it is not too expensive to buy street food (keeping in mind that this is Tokyo), and it is good. Nick and I had some yakisoba in a regional style, Chris and Michael had tacos, and Sam opted for a hot dog - big surprise there. I got Sam his hot dog from a cart with very fancy fixings - knowing his tastes, I said, "Purain dog, onagaishimasu." (Plain dog, if you please) I am still laughing because Sam's plain dog came with ketchup and shredded cabbage - and he ate it all up!

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March 21 was still pre-sakura (cherry blossom), but Hibiya Park had pretty displays of bulbs. Michael particularly liked them.

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