David Allen Of Hopedale In Tokyo
has written an interesting letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Gardner Allen, telling of his visit
to Yokohama and Tokyo. Excerpts from the letter follow:
About the first landmark we saw as we approached Yokohama was Mt. Fugiyama. They tell
me that it is snow capped but all we saw was the base. The top was covered with clouds.
Yokohama is inside of Tokyo Bay, about 20 miles from Tokyo. When I read about the
American sub that sneaked into the bay a few years ago and sank so many Jap ships, I
figured that the bay was about the size of New York harbor so I wondered how the heck they
ever worked to and still got out again afterwards. It's a lot larger than that, though. It must be
20 or 30 miles in diameter. Yokohama is fairly level but is surrounded by hills.
I had one liberty while we were there, so had a chance to look around, but there was not
much to see in Yokohama, so we got on an electric train and went to Tokyo. The trains were
terribly crowded. No one here carries any bundles in their hands; they strap everything to their
backs. The women carry the small children that way. There is no such thing as women and
children first on the trains. It is every man for himself and you can imagine how the kids on
their mother's backs make out. They are squashed and are usually bawling their eyes out but
no one pays any attention.
When we got to Tokyo we thought we'd be smart and visit Hirohito in his royal palace but
about all we saw was the outside. The grounds cover about 450 acres and is surrounded by
a high stone wall and around the wall is a moat broken only by the many gates which give
entrance to the grounds. Each gate is guarded by two Japanese guards and two M.P.'s so
there was no chance. But in talking with one of the M.P.'s he told us that he had seen the
emperor only once and that was when he went out for the big meeting.
From the palace we went to the Dieppe building, which corresponds to our Congress and
then, being hungry, we looked up the Red Cross but could get only coffee, so we did not stop.
It was the best foreign Red Cross headquarters I have ever seen and looked as though it
must have once been one of Tokyo's best hotels. We then went looking for souvenirs but
found very few and those were expensive. Some of the boys wanted to buy kimonos to send
home but the prices ranged anywhere from $63 to $100 in American money. I have some Jap
money to add to my collection.
Yesterday some of the officers and men brought a mess of Japanese rifles back to the ship
so everyone in the crew will probably have one for a souvenir. They haven't passed them out
yet and I do not know what my luck will be.
When I reach Korea I will write to you again. I do not know what my chances are for getting
home for Christmas; it will all depend on what happens when we get back to the States.
Milford Daily News
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