John & Hiromi's Virtual Vacation to Hokkaido
Day 12th - September 7th, 2001
Day 11 Bulletin

Northern Honshu(Main Island)
The land of the RISING SUN - Malachi 4:2
Reality check! Back home in Fujisawa! The trip is all over but the memories will last...for all of us! Today has been a day of catch-up. And preparation for our new church leadership training seminar that starts tomorrow.
After our amber experience in Kuji we started the lo-o-ong drive back to Fujisawa, following the (mostly) scenic drive along the Eastern coast of Honshu. Japan has four main islands, and dozens of small ones, maybe hundreds. We visited two of the main islands, Honshu, the biggest island, and Hokkaido, the North Island. The other two main islands are Shikoku and Kyushu, both epic in beauty, and unique. We went last year, but we left you at home on that one! Sorry

New Amber Ring bought at Kuji yesterday

Back to the drive home: we were planning to take the ferry from the Bousou Peninsula to Yokohama, so that we wouldn't have to drive through Tokyo, but even though Hiromi was driving fast like the wild woman she is, it became apparent that we wouldn't make the last ferry. So we switched our plans, and made the dreadful decision to drive through Tokyo. Dreadful? Have you driven in Dallas? L.A.? New York City? 71st and Memorial? Those are childsplay compared to Tokyo. Check out the picture of the traffic jam at midnight... And when the traffic does move, the cars hurl themselves through the narrow streets at fantastic speeds. Of course, it is all in kilometers, so I'm not sure how fast we were really going, but the ride was something like an out-of-control horizontal bunji-jump. Hiromi would say, Monku, tara, tara! (Which means, "complain, complain, complain!")
The pictures are going up as I write this, and by the time you're drinking your second cup of coffee in America, they should be ready for your viewing pleasure. By the way, we are leaving ALL the pictures up, at least for a while. But, if you want to save any of them, get out your floppies and copy. We are also going to post the commentaries that were sent out each day. We will leave up the passenger list, and may even add some things to it. Please invite your friends to check it out. We are glad to receive your comments and questions. Those that wish to file complaints, go here: All complainants will receive double their money back!

Finally in Tokyo and Fujisawa!!!
Ginza, Tokyo traffic at midnight
Now about ofuros and onsens: here's a web-site with some pix of onsens: An onsen is a Japanese hot mineral public bath, or spa, and an ofuro is just a public bath using regular water. Remember when you were a kid and got to take a bath with your friends? The Japanese just carried all that fun right into adulthood! Onsens generally, perhaps always, use volcanic water, rich in minerals. Many people believe that there are healing properties in the water. I wouldn't know about that, but after an onsen you feel like a $million bucks, and look forward to the next one! A nice onsen usually runs about 500 yen or so, USA$ 4-5.00, but can be much higher. There are a few onsens that are co-ed, but they are mostly for older folks who allegedly no longer have interest in the opposite sex. Most of the baths are divided. I have never seen nor heard of any improprieties in the onsens. They are very strait-laced and traditional. The good ones include saunas and cold plunges. Some onsens have a number of pools containing different kinds of mineral waters. So Hiromi and I love the onsens, and you will too, when you come for an actual visit. (When are you coming?) The nearest onsen to Fujisawa is at Hakone, near famous Fuji-san, just a short distance from here. When you come to visit us, we will go there!Please remember that the main reason that Hiromi and I are in Japan is to tell people about Jesus Christ. We love and miss our friends in America, and we love and miss America. But God put Japan in our heart! When we came here, we didn't know how God would use us, and I certainly felt woefully inadequate for the vast undertaking of winning Japan for Jesus. But, Hiromi and I have been born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit. We have been trained up in the things of God. We have the fire of God shut up in our bones. We must share the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost and dying. Through every problem we have had, and there have been many, God has lead us carefully and provided for us, just as He promised. And He has given us favor all over Japan. We believe that training up leaders in the church is why we are here. We have tried NOT to promote ourselves, or to be a burden to the church, but just to pray and let God open the doors. Just a few hours ago, another door opened. Hiromi got a call inviting her to go to Korea to translate for some Japanese people who are going to listen to David Yongghi Cho, pastor of the largest church in the world. Three quarters of a million people belong to that church! And Seoul, Korea, has three of the ten largest churches in the world! And Dr.Cho has started the largest church in Japan, about 1,800 people. And Korea sends out scads of missionaries. South Korea, that is!You might ask yourself why Korea is Christian and Japan is not. Take a look at 2 Cor 4: 3-4, and you will see why. But God has Japan in His "sights" and Japan will become a Christian nation very soon. Don't believe it? Hide and watch! Rather, you may want to be part of it! No life can satisfy like the life that flows in the plan of God! And Japan is ripe for harvest. Japan has religion, but religion never satisfies the hunger on the inside. Only Jesus Christ can satisfy that hunger.
As I am writing this, there is a person clapping their hands to a lifeless idol at the Shinto shrine just outside my window, and it breaks my heart to think that these beautiful Japanese people do not KNOW the love of God nor the power of the Holy Spirit. Even in the churches, many know about God, but don't know Him personally. Knowing God personally is what life is all about, EVERYTHING else is just temporary. If you have never met Jesus Christ, meet Him today! Nothing else really matters. All the vain philosophies, doubts, fears, and unbeliefs are resolved in an instant of time when you are enveloped in His love. The moment you accept Jesus, the war with God is over, and life begins (2 Cor 5:17-21). When you fall in love with someone, the first thing you want to do is to get to really know them. The better you know Jesus, the sweeter your life becomes. Heaven starts now! We had a great time as your tour guides and hope you enjoyed John and Hiromi's Virtual Vacation to Hokkaido! Now, let's see...what does God have in store for us, next?

Great to be welcomed home!!

Pix are up, go take a look! We love you and miss your smiling faces. Your tour guides,
John and Hiromi (Having the time of our lives, back home in Fujisawa!)

Thank you for being with us all the way of this trip. Did you enjoy yourself? Please give your thought about this trip. Hope we will see you soon !!!

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