100 Books Project :: Japan [Part Two]

[Book #9 :: [Book #9 :: April 15, 2009 at Tokyo Station in Tokyo and Book #10 :: Bar of the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo]

This is part two of the 100 Books Project dispatch from Japan.  In case you missed the stories of books 6, 7 & 8, you can get caught up here.

Once I decided my method of surreptitious gift giving was going to be more one on one than the first few books during my visit to Tokyo, I never left our hotel without at least one book in my bag.  The day after I gave two books to the lovely artists I met in the Ginza, I had to catch a bullet train to Sendai where I was to meet my husband later in the day after his meetings.  Now I'm pretty good at navigating the Tokyo subway system, but all bets are off when it comes to Tokyo Station, which is the main hub for what seems like 4.2 million different rail lines.  If you happened to be there last month and saw a blonde chick with glasses walking in circles with a glazed look in her eyes, that was me, except on the day I headed to Sendai when I had a lovely guide showing me the way.

My husband's colleague had generously arranged for someone to meet me at our hotel to take me to the proper platform, and just before I boarded the train bound for Sendai, I pulled out a book and gave it to her.  Just like the day before, the reaction I got was one of giddy surprise, and I found out the next day that she had shown my book all over her office.

A couple of days later my husband and I were having tea at the bar of our hotel.  The bartender working was a woman we had chatted with the day before, when we learned she had recently returned from a trip to the states.  We were enjoying our last bit of time in Tokyo before we had to head to the airport , and what do you know - I had one book left.  As we were paying our tab, I handed her the book, told her it was a gift for her, and she couldn't believe it.  She was working, so couldn't open it up right away, but it was the perfect ending to our trip and that chapter of the 100 Books Project.

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide