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Saturday morning, I wake in bed to find my body unable to move. Yesterdays keiko was all kokyu waza, mainly stretching but every bone and muscle in my body ached beyond belief, and here I was trying to head down to Himeji for the big Aikiweb meet. I manage to drag myself from bed and get ready.
I head of for Nishi Akashi, I`d been told to change here for a Shin Kaisoku (Super Rapid Express), so I get off the Kaisoku (Rapid Express) that I was on and change platforms..........only to find that there are no Shin Kaisoku at that time day, nor are there any more Kaisoku........ I have to wait for 20 minutes for the next local train which will stop at every station to Himeji, so much for getting there early..........
Fortunately at Himeji I find a taxi driver who actually knows his way to the budokan unlike my last visit 2 years before where the driver took me around various sights before stopping at a coffee shop to ask directions.......yes, with this one exception Himeji taxi drivers are no better than Tokyo taxi drivers........
I half run half limp into the budokan trying to find the dojo, I had been looking forward to this but the body was in so much pain I just wasn`t up for it. It`s five to 9, I spy Peter, "Bryan! How long you gonna be? we`re starting, now!" he says, "2 mins" I respond. I dash over to the changing rooms and pull my keiko gi on. Not having had time to meet an greet I decided to leave my hakama in my bag and run out to the dojo...