March 25, 2006 part 2 – Press this button in case of muggers

After a dinner with my parents and my future in-laws, we took my parents to check in at their hotel. I booked a room for them at Hotel Miwa, which is a sensibly priced hotel just north of Numazu station.

Hotel Miwa

Before deciding on a hotel, I did some research online and asked coworkers. I learned that not only was Hotel Miwa convenient and reasonably priced, but some of the staff spoke English as well. The last time my family came to visit, I was able to get them a room in the dormitory style place I was living so they were never too far away. This time they would be a 15 minute walk from my apartment in a country where they couldn’t speak the language. The staff having some basic English ability was a big relief for all of us.

After we got checked in, my father in law handed out printed itineraries for all of us (bilingual of course), complete with contact numbers for everyone. We also took a brief walk around the hotel to get my parents familiar with the area. The Penpal’s father made sure to point out the “press in case of emergency” buttons near the station in case they were suddenly cornered by a gang of muggers.

For some reason Japanese people (especially the older generation) believe their country is dangerous. In my several years of living in Japan, I have never felt safer. Typically the only things that get stolen in Japan are bicycles and umbrellas. Yes, there is crime, but the average person would actually have to go looking for trouble to put themselves in an unsafe situation.

We said goodnight and decided on a time to meet in the morning, then I retrieved my bike and rode home. It was a strange feeling knowing that my parents had just traveled 9000 km to see me, but they were staying across town.

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