I grew up in Japan, but our family left when I was 14. My Mom had had a dream for us kids to have a reunion back in Japan. And the dream came true August of 2005.

My Dad passed away in 2003 and my parents' colleague Art Seely lost his wife in 2002. It was an good match when Art and Mom married early 2005. They spent the last half of their honeymoon year in Japan. Their work was helping a Japanese church by teaching English classes. We were able to go there to be with them for 11 days before things got busy.

2005_japan0 My two sisters Marilyn & Lisa, two of my nieces, my wife Melanie and I (Larry) made the trip.

2005_japan1 We had a plane changeover in San Francisco. Due to some confusion, a wheelchair for "Larry Groove" was waiting for me!

2005_japan2 We were met at Narita by Rick & Lois Seely (Art's son). They would drive us to our first stop, Karuizawa - a 5 hour trip. It was our opportunity to visit with them and we very much appreciated their time.

2005_japan3 Rick arranged for us to use a van that would hold us all. Here we stopped at a 7-Eleven for a first taste of Japanese flavors. We forgot the door open - but due to Japanese honesty, there were no worries.

2005_japan4 I was surprised at the number of American brands in Japan. This one was all over.

2005_japan5 We travelled on several kinds of roads. This one went through the rice paddies.

2005_japan6 Access to this set of roads was guarded by poles that prevented wide vehicles from entering. Our van fit with only a few inches of clearance!