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Old 05-08-2006, 09:19 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
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Re: Vacation in Tokyo

Great pics!

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:13 AM   #27
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Re: Vacation in Tokyo

I see you were to Kyoto and Nara also. I presume it was a good holiday. I hope to get back to Kyoto once again, some time. Great city.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:56 PM   #28
Jory Boling
 
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Re: Vacation in Tokyo

We were at Yabusame together and never knew it! Comparing your pictures to mine, we were also standing very close to each other!

Do you remember standing next to a tall white guy with a completely slick shaven head? That wasn't me, but I remember him toward your general direction.

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Old 05-08-2006, 07:42 PM   #29
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Vacation in Tokyo

Quote:
Jory Boling wrote:
We were at Yabusame together and never knew it! Comparing your pictures to mine, we were also standing very close to each other!

Do you remember standing next to a tall white guy with a completely slick shaven head? That wasn't me, but I remember him toward your general direction.
Agrrrrr...that's too bad we didn't meet together. Yes, I remember this tall guy, I thought he was lucky to see everything very easy. He was quite close to my wife. I did some video from this show too, so after some editing I'll try to put it one the web. Who knows, may you will see yourself on it?

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:31 PM   #30
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Vacation in Tokyo

I must admit this vacation in Japan was a big surprise for us, so we had no time to book hotels. But brothers in aiki from Japan were very helpful, not only inviting us to stay together but also they provide excellent translation and guided us in many fantastic places.

First two days we stayed in Tokyo, recovering from zone time changing and cultural chock. Politeness of Japanese ppl is above all imagination. We stayed very close to Shibuya station, so it was a real experience to see hundred thousand ppl entering and exiting Shibuya every minute. Tokyo station was also very impressive but all subway and railway Tokyo system is very clearly indicated with colors, names of lines and English subtitles. Another surprise was poor quality of coffee in general, fortunately for as we found Starbucks Coffee in close neighborhood.

We visited Azakuza area with beautiful gardens and temples and took a few hours walk along a river. There we discovered ppl that live under bridges and close to water. But their ‘houses' were very nice done, every where around was clean, and we saw many of them cleaning their small area, I'm not sure are they homeless by choice, are they working or stay on social aide?

Every night we tasted excellent food in small restaurants, our friends did fantastic job, I don't remember names, but I've never eat such things.
Next day we went to Kamakura. It was one of two rainy days we had on our trip.One hour south of Tokyo, small but interesting town. First we visited Big Budda, it was somehow deception. In few travels guides and from internet info we could enter and look by Budda eyes but in reality it wasn't possible.
Then we went to Yabusame presentation. We had to wait 2 hours but then one may see that these guys really run like a crazy on their horses and shoot from their bows. Very impressive. In Kamakura there are many temples we couldn't visit.

Next day we headed on to Kyoto by super express more then 300 km/h. Nice and comfortable travel, but their coffee is horrible and we paid about 6 us$ a cup! We went to Kyoto and took a train for Nara. In the rail station we met our friend who is student of sword maker from small town in the mountains, Shimizu. We drove about 3 hours south, in Wakayama prefecture, and in the end of the day we came to his place. This countryside hasn't change last 200 years. Toilets are outside; it is a simple hole, no plumbing at all. It was extraordinary, beautiful place, but night was cold. There were holes in walls, the isolation wasn't terrific. But we survived!!

Next day we visited master sword maker, a day before he received his new sword from polisher, and we assisted in procedure of signing a new sword. It was really exciting. This guy did it as it was a simple writing on a paper, hard to believe. Then we visited a forge. I still can't believe, how come it is possible, with such simples and primitives tools, how this guy can do THE art, such beautiful swords.

Afternoon we went to Koya san. It is a very special place high in the mountains, where there are plenty of monasteries and monks who actually live and pry there. We also visited there incredible cemetery, with very high 300 years old trees, full of different kind of moss. We simply sit there to contemplate in silence. Ah, yes, first really good coffee in the small resto.
Then we came back to Nara, slept in traditional hotel, visited with other friends, and left to Osaka.

In Osaka we practice with our friends in beautiful local dojo located in Buddhist monastery, I believe. Very nice practice, however completely different that in our style.
Next 3 days we visited Kyoto. Our Japanese friend guided us every night to different, small familial resto, and chooses incredible good food. We even met a real geisha! Maya took a photo and I did a small video. We were really lucky. Unfortunately in Kyoto there are millions of tourists……We had no time to practice with Peter, famous Tomiki fighter, I'm really sorry.
Then we returned to Tokyo. I'd say that Tokyo is different Japan and countryside is a real Japan.
In Tokyo we visited famous fish market, way too late, at 11 a.m. but we found excellent resto, where all workers and owners of stores came to eat. No tourists at all. No English explanations. Fortunately there were some pictures, so we ordered something. I managed to pick up someone's plate and everybody had a good laugh. Food was fantastic. Event an hour later, in the subway, some of consumers recognized us and smiled, talking to us in quite good English.

We went to Tada sensei seminar in Hombu aikikai, met Peter and Alec from Aikiweb, what a surprise. After seminar in the pub, Peter tried to order something, but looks like his Japanese from Hiroshima was somehow not compatible with Tokyo slang and waitress explained him secrets of menu. But we managed to drink good beer together.

Next day 3 hours to the north to Nikko. This is my favorite place in Japan. I can simply sit there and listen ghosts from the past. It is really magic place. In a way back to Tokyo, we went to Iwama to visit The Dojo. Fortunately, on the station we met very nice American aiki girl (sorry I forgot her name, ooppsss), who came to practice aikido, otherwise we could never find a dojo. I must admit, the dojo has a special spirit, one can feel all those years of sweat and practice. We had very nice practice too.
Back in Tokyo, we went to HQ judo Kodokan dojo. My wife had wonderful practice; they were very nice to her.

Two weeks are way too short to really taste Japan, but I think we scratched surface a little bit.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-09-2006, 05:52 AM   #31
Jory Boling
 
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Re: Vacation in Tokyo

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Agrrrrr...that's too bad we didn't meet together. Yes, I remember this tall guy, I thought he was lucky to see everything very easy. He was quite close to my wife. I did some video from this show too, so after some editing I'll try to put it one the web. Who knows, may you will see yourself on it?
yes. it was difficult to see throught the wall of umbrellas. from looking at your picture I think I may have seen you at least once. As a gaijin, it's easy to remember other gaijin, spotted in crowds.

definitely put some video up. the video i recorded on my cellphone just doesn't do it justice.

catch you next time!

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Old 05-09-2006, 07:30 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Vacation in Tokyo

Thank you Szczepan, wonderful review of your whole trip! Ok, I know that took a lot of time...but can you tell us more about the aikido training?

I'm very jealous....

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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