Previous sojourns in Tokyo's luxury hotels had given the Robinsons no inkling of the trials ahead when they arrived there to stay and work for a whole year. The Japanese government had kindly provided a never-before-lived-in, bewilderingly high-tech house, which Gwen set out to make a home. She knew no Japanese; her neighbors knew no English. The house was an automated puzzle. Its domestic machines were activated by inscrutable kanji-labeled controls, whose mastery involved risky experiment. The surrounding neighborhood was a densely packed maze of unmarked paths and alleyways. Once the garden gate had clanged behind her, it was no sure bet Gwen would find her way home again. Purchasing food was like solving a mystery, for the exuberant market displays of exotica demanded fierce intellectual contemplation, as well as rummaging squeezes and prods. Selection seemed always a high-stake gamble, for amongst the possible delights lurked shock and even possible danger. Nevertheless, Gwen can to terms with the difficulties, and before the year was over had delved deeply into the fabric of the social and cultural life of Japan.
The rich personalities and charming eccentricities of her dramatis personae provide colorful and informative reading. She tells it all in this warm affectionate and often hilarious story. This is a true account of coming to feel At Home in Tokyo.