Nihon Chronicles 2010…the road to Tokyo Taikai

28 04 2010

Tokyo Edition:

The road to TaiKai

My stomach was feeling weird with all the food we had been eating the last couple of days. My main worry was getting sick like on our first trip, however that did not happen, thank God!

We were up early today but no Tai Chi in the park with the group for me, no time. It was all about heading out for Tokyo. I was somewhat nervous at the thought of it. LZ said she was just going to put me on the bus and let me go for it, good training she said. However she went with me to the Shikanshin ( Bullet train ) so that was helpful.

It was a smooth fast trip to Tokyo, I took a little nap, ate one rice ball and had a small bit of Chuhai. Most of the trip was spent reading the Heike story. It is about a large Japanese samurai family. I have had the book for several years I figure this was a good chance to read it.

Once in Shinagawa station which is one of the busiest in Japan I made my way to the local train to Shinjuku. I was not quite sure about the entrance to the station and paying, but I worked it out.

Ok, so a side note about Japanese. Everyone knows them as polite people. For the most part that is true. However…In the super market crowded, not so much, they will push right past you or worse. Also coming out or going into the men restroom, they see you with a lot of stuff being carried, and you are trying to get out/in the door, they will not wait and let you go, they will push right past. Lucky I’m polite I could have easily floored a couple of guys with a shoulder “Fa Ging” from Tai Chi. I’m a visitor so I practice more manners, howver I could see how that would get old after a while.

From Shinjuku it was a smooth ride to the Yoyogai station where I got off. Now things got a bit tricky. Finding the right exit to leave the station, I had read to look for the new South or the East exit. I got off at the North, so had to hunt around for the correct one. One on the street I had to ask several people in order to find the Hotel, several did not know. One guy told me wrong but then came running after me when he saw his mistake and pointed to the correct building, I made it! Yatta!

I was one hour ahead of check in, but the desk guy called and found the room was ready, so with some broken Japanese and English we got through my check in and I went to my room. It was very small but clean and comfortable. I had a much smaller room on a stop over in Korea on a trip from Singapore. This room here was perfect for what I needed, Internet access, clean bed, shower and bath. It has a small frig, but it is more of a cooler really, stuff stays cool but does not get cold. No matter.

My next things after relaxing was to go out and find where the park (Meiji Shrine) was where the event as being held. After once going the wrong direction, then asking a lady who did not know, but I got enough of the general idea to find the shrine-park.

As I was walking up to the place a see a few friendly faces I know that was an unexpected treat. To run into the M3 clan and Ed Sensei.

We chat for a bit then head off toot our own paths. I walk around a while checkout out the greenery and a crow decides to use me as target practice while I’m under a Sakura tree. *&%@%^%! &*^! on my “zen” shirt ^*&@&*%^%*$%^&*^!.

Other than that the park was my favorite place in Tokyo. I did not know there was such beauty in Tokyo. I thought it was all concrete, brick, cars, black suits that do not quite fit some, and cuties in short skirts.

I head back to the hotel after going to the department store next door for dinner. You maybe thinking of a restaurant. No! The basement of large Japanese department stores are full of food! ALL KINDS of good Stuff, prepared, raw, groceries, Bakeries everything. They are amazing! I walk around so much and look at some much food. I got tired and did not see it all. I decided to go light and give my stomach a break, and just had a couple of small fish salads, bread and a green veggie salad. I was good, it was very good. I ate there the whole week!!

Later that evening I meet a couple of other Kyuoka who are in town for the seminar. I also hear that about 50% of the Europeans had to cancel due to the Volcano eruption ! Bummer for them after all this time of training and practice. I met these guys because they were outside my apt room talking! I find out most of the wing is filled with Kyudo folks.

Today was my first real travel alone in Japan, at least for a long distance, again no problems. It is a BIG help to know even basic Japanese. I asked a few people for directions, everyone tried to help, one guy even went out of his way to find me and put me on the right track after giving me incorrect info. No one panicked when they saw me or I spoke to them or tried not to sit/stand next to me on the train. Of course this is Tokyo.

Tomorrow is the opening day of the seminar. We pickup papers, there is a demo and a open practice. I also hear the Main Sensei(s) will give everyone once over to see where the weak spots are. It is basically an easy day though only from 1-4 or 5 p.m.

So Monday night a settle in for the week to unfold…it should be interesting.

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