Japan Spring 2023 Diary Day 1 Chiba

Eric and I attended my niece’s wedding in Japan. We took this opportunity to enjoy our trip to Japan.

I share it as Japan Spring 2023 diary.

Day 1:

Eric and I arrived at Haneda Airport, Tokyo, at 4:30 am.

The flight was smooth, and the vegan meals I ordered were pretty decent, so I ate them with my brown rice onigiri.

I usually have difficulty sleeping in an airplane, so I watched two movies and started to knit my new sweater. 

We left LAX around 1 am and 11 hours and a half later, still dark outside when we arrived in Tokyo. It was a wired feeling to have the darkness for a long time, and it did not make sense to my head, but the excitement of being in Japan for the first time in four years blew away the confusion.

I was supposed to be in Japan for my niece’s wedding two years ago, but because of the Pandemic, we had to wait for two years. The long waiting gave me more excitement.

I have been using a wheelchair in the airport to rest my legs since I injured my legs from a severe car crash in 2001.  I was surprised to see a wooden wheelchair arrive for me to use. I have heard that Japan Airlines (JAL) has developed a wooden wheelchair for smooth movement within airport facilities. 

You can pass through the security checkpoint while using a wooden wheelchair. I have seen it on the NHK World News program (NHK is a Japanese public broadcaster offering local, national, and world news reports in English), but it was for the first time I used it.

I liked riding the wooden wheelchair because I felt that it was soft and connected to my body. Also, the person who assisted the wheelchair was polite, and she pushed it gently and slowly for me. I sure felt that I was in Japan.


Itsuko-san, who I met on the FB talk page “Body Joy” (she and Masayo are organizing the talk), was attending my class and kindly offered to pick us up at the airport. I felt this was a gift from heaven.

We did not know each other much, and it was our first meeting, but we felt we had known each other for a long time. We were talking and talking so much about Flower Remedy, Animal Communication, and more.

Eric suddenly said, “Are we going to under the water”?

Yes, we were passing Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, a rare road between the seabed and the sea. It is a toll road with a length of about 15.1 km(9.4 miles). About 10 km(6.2 miles) undersea tunnel “Aqua Tunnel” on the Kawasaki side and about 4.4 km(2.7 miles) bridge “Aqua Bridge” on the Kisarazu side. Eric got so excited for the first time going under the water/bay road.

We all felt the ride was fast after Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line went through the countryside.


We arrived at Brown’s Field, welcomed by our long-time friend, Deco Nakajima, who has operated her organic rice field for 20 years.

We had breakfast and visited Matinee (Deco’s daughter) ‘s first baby.  The baby, Sui, was so precious. 

I have helped 45 puppies to be born and raised, so I have no problem holding puppies but holding a human newborn was scary for me. I could not have a baby because I had ovarian cancer.

It was a breathtaking moment!

We had Deco’s delicious homemade “Cherry Azuki beans steamed bread” there. So beautiful to see pickled Cherry Blossoms.


Then we went to the Kujyuu Kurihama beach, where Eric planned to Foil surf with a local Foil surfer, Jun Adegawa, who owns a surf shop, “Ted.” 

The powerful windy day for foil surfing.

I heard about the Kujyuu Kurihama beach a long time ago as a child.  Most of the beach in Japan does not have long white sand beaches like here in Santa Monica, so when I heard that Kujyuu Kurihama has 41 miles of long white sand beach, I wanted to go there someday. It was like a dream that I was there now.

Eric started to Foil Surfing almost right away.

Itsuko, her dog, Chacha Maru, and I also enjoyed the beach with the wind. It was Chacha Maru’s first time on the beach, and he had so much fun.

Eric stayed at the beach for Foil Surfing, I returned to Brown’s Felid with Itusko, had lunch at the Rice Terrace Cafe, and prepared for my Spring Flower Remedy and Medicinal Tea with Macrobiotic class.

While I was having lunch, Eric met other local Foil surfers and kept surfing for over 3.5 hours. He was supposed to finish his Foil Surfing in two hours and return to Brown’s Felid to eat lunch and help me with my class, but he must enjoy surfing so much!

I could not believe Eric could Foil Surfing for so long the day we arrived in Japan. I was so impressed by Eric, who was full of stamina. 

When he returned to Brown’s Field, he was so excited that how much fun he had with local surfers and met Jun’s family.


Eric also thanked me for giving him the brown rice ball I made in Santa Monica before I left the beach. He was, of course, still very hungry. I was glad that I did not eat my lunch everything so I could give him.


My class went very well with the help of the students. I did not teach in Japan for a long time, so I was concerned about how I teach; I carefully prepared in Santa Monica, bringing pressed medicinal plant leaves and three blended medicinal plants teas I made, etc. 

I enjoyed it a lot. 

Participants were all to learn enthusiastically and asked questions mannerly and politely. This class was also successful because of the help of Keiko-san, who took my online Flower Remedy classes last year. She is a foot massage therapist and gave me a foot massage after the class. Her strength showed how she massaged my foot; it was a special treat.



All the Brown’s Field staff and volunteers made the delicious dinner with Deco. Our favorite was bamboo balls with Kuzu sauce and Ume Shio condiment. It was heart-warming to spend time with a long-time friend, Deco-chan, and a new friend, Itsuko-san, with people at Brown’s Field.

At night, when I was lying on a comfortable futon, I heard a chorus of frogs, and I went out and sat down around 3 am.

The sky was cloudy and unfortunately I could not see any stars and the rice fields were pitch black as if my eyes were closed.

Only the sound of frogs put my mind at rest.
It was my first day of Spring 2023 in Japan.


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  1. 1

    Thankyou so much for sharing about your trip to Japan for niece’s wedding& teaching,new& old friends& Eric foul surfing for yes,quite a long time& first day in Japan! It’s a treat for me to see personal photos.I’ve never been to Japan but my brother flies there with United Airlines& has a Japanese family there that he visits.They used to live in his town& their daughter,I forget her name,but so cute, was friends with my adopted niece(she’s Mexican/Native American by birth).Dave,my brother,flies to L.A.& San Fran a lot.He said I could come along with him on any trip& visit friends while there for an overnight.I thought that was nice of him to offer.I can’t leave my very sweet 15 yr old dog though but maybe in future I’ll take him up on it.I didn’t have children either but could have.It was hard to accept years ago but I’m ok with it now,thank goodness for healing! I went to a midwifery school years ago in El Paso,Texas on border with Juarez,Mexico& the Mexican women who gave birth at the house turned clinic& school got U.S.citizenship for their babies.It was a 6 month program & quite popular for women across the border.I also worked for new mothers with newborns in their homes& was a live in nanny for several families as a younger person,including Joan& Bill Spear! I’m enjoying life in solo as I grow older& have family with children close by so I help& enjoy this.I think of my parents often as they were such good people & had 8 children.We are lucky now to have each other as it is very enriching to share our lives.Ive loved you very much on FB.You have shared so many beautiful things& it has enriched my life by knowing you!❤️

    • 2

      You are welcome, Sarah!
      I am a slow writer, but I am continue to write and you will see my niece’s wedding (traditional Japanese wedding at shrine) photos. I understand it is not easy to travel when you have animal family.
      I hope you take your brother’s offer and travel someday.
      Love, Sanae

  2. 3

    I worked at The Bridge;Traditional Food for Modern Times in CT. for many years.Its still in operation & produces organic tofu,all Japanese machinery,seitan,amazake,tofu salad etc…I’ve kept my same email since then hence the tofu after my middle name,Tobias…Joan& Bill started the shop& Steve LaPenta continues in ownership.I saw him just yesterday at local natural foods store when he was making deliveries.He’s raised 4 childeren on his earnings from the Bridge! They are in college now or already graduated! Time is passing quickly! Hugs to you& bravo to Eric for loving surfing so much!!!

    • 4

      I remember the Bridge tofu when I was visited in MA and CT.
      Time passing quickly so I hope you enjoy what you can do.
      Eric and I enjoy what we can do to enjoy our lives too.
      Thank you for your comments!
      Love, Sanae

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