Sharing Feelings and Shiratama Ice-Cream with a Thai Woman

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Date & Time: Tuesday, January 30, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Spots: Sankeien Garden, Yamashita Park, the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and Takashimaya Yokohama Store
Visitor: Nittaya from Thailand
Guide: 1 KSGG member
Language: English

I thought I had to change my plan considerably because Nittaya, a working Thai woman, had a problem with her knees. We did not go to Yokohama Chinatown and the Yokohama Landmark Tower where I had originally planned to go. Instead, we took an Akai-kutsu bus, a retro-styled wagon to circulate tourist attractions. In Sankeien Garden which we visited first, she was interested in Rinshunkaku*1 and Oido.*2 At Yokobuean*3, she was intrigued by the tragic love story of the heroine, Yokobue, too.

We went to Yamashita Park by bus and changed the bus to the Akai-kutsu bus to the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. She really enjoyed buying souvenirs and said with her eyes shining, “Everything is very cute!” We ate ice cream topped with white ball dumplings there and talked about a lot of things, such as the life in Thailand, the life after retirement and elderly care homes. I felt like our conversation lasted forever. In spite of the fact that she is a very skillful secretary at a major company, she was anxious about her retirement life.

Lastly, we dropped by Takashimaya Yokohama Store. She bought some cosmetics. When I thought back to this tour as a guide, I found that we walked together sharing feelings, but I did not give her detailed explanations on the spots which we visited. It was a cold but heart-warming day for me.

*1: Rinshunkaku is a traditional Japanese villa built in 1649 by Yorinobu Tokugawa, the son of the first shogunate of the Edo Period, Ieyasu Tokugawa.
*2: Oido was originally built on the premises of Daitokuji Temple of Kyoto in 1591 by Hideyoshi Toyotomi to shelter a historical monument. In 1905, Oido was moved to the garden.
*3: Yokobuean is a country-style tea hut built in 1908. A portrait of Yo