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There's No Raining on Our Parade

On Sunday I went to a CAMP Yale BBQ at the American Embassy Dormitories in the heart of Tokyo.

The complex is located in Akasaka, right in the middle of the city. There are three "towers" like the one above, each with a different color assigned to the balconies. Personally they remind me a lot of the Piet Mondrian paintings: the ones that are white canvasses with stark black lines and occasional blocks of primary colors.

Despite the rainy weather we held our BBQ outside (albeit with a gazebo and pop-up tent handy). There was a bouncy castle for the children present, while the adults did both an egg toss and a water balloon toss for Tokyo Embassy-themed prizes. Then there was classic American BBQ fare--hotdogs, burgers, grilled chicken, potato salad, corn salad, watermelon, brownies and beer. The Yale community here seems really friendly and I hope I'll get to know everyone more over the course of my time here.

Interestingly, right across from these dormitories is a shinto shrine, Hikawa Jinja, built by the Tokugawa Yoshimune, the 8th Tokugawa shogun. The shrine has very densely wooded grounds, and the effect is somewhat like entering a quiet forest when one least expects it.

The rainy season is certainly starting to show its colors, however. The next few days are all cloudy, if not raining, and the humidity is creeping upward in a direction that makes me blanch, just a little bit.


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