Some concepts can be so much more adequately described in words from a language outside of English. It seems, in the realm of English vocabulary and spoken concepts (at least within my realm), there are circumstances in which our words just do not pay justice to the idea. For example, when just having finished a delicious meal with satisfied stomachs and minds, in English, we say, “I’m full.” Full? What does that mean? Full is the level of gas I just pumped or the status of a glass of milk I just poured. Tank, full. Glass, full. After a meal I just thoroughly enjoyed, full? No, no justice is served to the meal or to the idea of complete satisfaction and delight from the tastes and energy the meal provides. Instead, Spanish has found a single word that expresses everything about the physical and mental satisfaction, “Estoy satisfecha.” I’m more than just full, I’m satisfied.
In Japanese, there are more than one or two of these concepts, depicted in a more suitable phrase than English can pull together. One of these is imouto fusai. When my sister and brother-in-law came to visit, I came across this concept. It literally means younger sister married couple. What a great way to talk succinctly and accurately about my younger sister and her husband in just two words–imouto fusai. In August, my imouto fusai came to visit. And, what a packed, touristy type time the five of us had together.
Surprisingly, my otherwise space-loving, people-avoiding, farm-living brother-in-law gave us the green light to pack “Japan” into their 7 day trip. So pack we did! 5 nights, 4 cities, 3 hotels, a dozen plus train rides, 90 degrees, 80 percent humidity, 1 stroller, 4 adults, and 1 seven month old baby girl. Made for exciting, albeit exhausting, times. In addition to showing imouto fusai our favorite must-sees, we took the opportunity to explore parts of Japan our family trio had not yet experienced.
First stop, the formidable I-think-I-almost-lost-my-life-to-a-fork-lift professional fish market in Tokyo, Tsukigi.
Followed by the best sushi in Japan to-date. A favorite lunch hole of our neighbor.
And seeing the Japan of your imagination from the top of Tokyo Tower.
The Shinkansen was a first for all of us as well. Efficiency at work. High speeds. Great scenery. A break from walking. And bento lunch.
Powerful reminder of the suffering in human conflict in Hiroshima.
Iconic floating tori gate in Miyajima and exploring the likes of buddha.
Then, off to Kyoto for couple days in one of Japan’s most history-filled cities. Shrines, Temples, Geisha, Castles, and a Starbucks on the river.
Not everyone was thrilled with the pace or the space.
And, as always, one of the most cultural and satisfiying experiences…the food!
The time was full but left me so satisfecha and so grateful for the moments and memories made with my imouto fusai.
Flip through the photo book of our week together if you’re in the mood for more photo fun.