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Friday morning, again llittle sleep as I wake each hour, I make it out of bed at 5:30 and down to the Seibukan for asaren. Yet another clas of kokyu waza, Sensei is spoiling me. I`ve been gradually building up the ukemi over the past week, maybe being over careful for the "hernia" but am now at a point where I`m not shirking anything and am practicing as if I never had a problem in the first place. I can`t quite believe the transformation from the week before.
After keiko I go down to a local coffee bar with Brad Darr (also on Aikiweb), who`s lucky enough to be training with Nakao Sensei on a weekly/ daily basis, and Ross, another Englishman recently joined the Seibukan, and working at Nova alongside Brad. We have a couple of tea`s and a good chat about stuff before I have to head home, had promised to go over to Kyoto with my wife. Actually, I had wanted to go before I came to Japan, outside of keiko it was the only thing I had planned.
From Gakuentoshi to Kyoto is quite a trip so we use JR which is a bit quicker albeit more expensive. We head straight to Katskura, one of the best tonkatsu resaurants I`ve ever been to, we have a fantastic lunch, where I had an ebi fry (prawn) that was two times longer and fatter than my index finger. After lunch we whiz around the Daimaru department store looknig for last minute souvenirs before catching a taxi to Heian Jingu.
I`d been to the outside of Heian Jingu a number of times over the years but had never been into the gardens. It was only after seeing them in the film Lost in Translation that I deceided I`d like to go and see. What a time to go, the cherry blossom was absolutely fantastic, full bloom and masses of it around a number of ponds and lakes, it was most definately worth the trip over.
We had a final ride on the Shinkansen (bullet train) back to Kobe.