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Old 09-08-2005, 02:15 AM   #1
JJF
 
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Going to Japan

Hi everybody

Just wanted to brag a bit. Tuesday next week I'm going to do it - finally - after.... well.... 20 years of wanting to see Japan I'm going. Yes!!! Only two weeks but hey - It's better than nothing. Will go visit two kind families that have offered me a chance to live with them for a couple of days each place. After that straight to Tokyo were I will live in a cheap Ryokan and practice with two high ranking senseis. I will also get to participate in a small three day seminar (22 hours practice!!!). I hope I'll survive

I am hardly sleeping lately - that's how excited I am.... I will stay one day in Hakone, two days in Kyoto, three days in Shiga by the Biwa lake, two days in Shiroishi and finally 8 days in Tokyo. It's going to be SO great....

Have fun everybody out there.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:12 AM   #2
Jory Boling
 
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Re: Going to Japan

omodetto!
this week marks my one year anniversary for my first trip to Japan and now i'm in the middle of planning a move!

Climb Fuji if you get the chance.

will you be taking pictures (to be seen online?) ?

have a great trip!

Jory
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:15 AM   #3
Budd
 
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Re: Going to Japan

That's excellent! Have a great time . . . and watch out for the blowfish . . .

Taikyoku Mind & Body
http://taikyokumindandbody.com
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:31 AM   #4
batemanb
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Hi Jorgen,

I'm flying over there on a business trip next Thursday, will be in Tokyo until Saturday 1st October. It's my 15th trip in the last 10 years, which include two lengthy vacations of 2 and 3 months respectively, and 2 years living and working there .

Aside from going to my old dojo, I'll be meeting up with Michael Steumpel for a beer or two and some training, oh, and doing a couple of days work . On the 1st October I'm flying on to Seattle, where I'll be paying a visit to George Ledyard given that his dojo is only a mile or so away from our office there .

2 days in Kyoto is not enough!! I'm sure you'll see all of the usual sights there, but make sure you get to see Sanjusangendo too.

If you're due in Tokyo before I leave let us know, I'm sure we can meet up somewhere

Have a good trip, I know you'll enjoy it.

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:17 AM   #5
Goye
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Jorgen!,.. that is great,.. I also have some years waiting the chance to go to japan,... Enjoy your trip and dont forget to tell us how it was,...

César Martínez
Satori Dojo
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:41 AM   #6
akiy
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Hi Jorgen,

I hope you have a great time in Japan. Have a bowl of real ramen for me over there...

-- Jun

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Old 09-08-2005, 09:09 AM   #7
darin
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Re: Going to Japan

Somebody said beer? How I miss those ice cold Kirins or Asahis in the izakayas. Have fun there dude and stay away from the hostess bars... unless somebody else is paying.
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:21 AM   #8
odudog
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Re: Going to Japan

Good for you Jorgan! I've been over several times and had a blast each time. Only to Tokyo though. I'm hoping to go over again next year for a much needed vacation and hope to do some traveling. If you plan on using the Shinkansen, you can get discount tickets for unlimited rides but you must purchase the ticket while you are still out of the country. At least that was the rule when last I visited. If you do the Japanese way of vacationing, you must spend tons of money buying souvenirs for all the people that you know. I buy t-shirts with kanji, sumo, kabuki, etc... for my dojo mates. If you buy them, make sure you buy them extra big for they will shrink big time for Japan doesn't use clothes dryers. And speaking of beer, there are tons of beers that you can drink there that don't get exported. I tend to buy mine out of the tons of beer vending machines all around the place. I wish I could recommend some to you but I can't read the kanji. And stay away from Asahi, not much flavor, even though Asahi Superdry is the #1 beer in Japan at least it was the last time I went about 2-3 yrs. ago.
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:30 PM   #9
justin
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Re: Going to Japan

All sounds very exciting must say, one thing that would concern me is the language barrier for those who have been lucky enough to make the trip is it a problem
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:35 PM   #10
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Going to Japan

Im moving back to Iwama in march for at least 6 months uchideshi. its been 3 years since i was back in the birthplace. Cant wait to spend everyday learning again.
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Old 09-09-2005, 02:22 AM   #11
dyffcult
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Re: Going to Japan

I have been to Japan twice in my very short forty years.... Wonderful place. Take as much time in Kyoto as your schedule will allow. Some of the oldest buildings in continuous use on earth in that city. The US and other allies agreed not to bomb the city during the WWII at the request of certain eastern nations....therefore, a number of exceedingly old temples survived. Great and beautiful city....

Japan is a great culture. You do not need to speak the language, but attempts are greatly appreciated though generally not understood. We english speakers tend to add the consenant at the end of the vowel-consenant sounds that Japan uses. Basically, we add extra sounds and they don't understand us :-) Just smile and bow a lot :-) You will then do fine...

Brenda
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Old 09-09-2005, 07:35 AM   #12
JJF
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Hi everybody

Thank you for all you warm and heartfelt wishes. I am really moved. My original plan was for a whole month in Japan but since I'm in the middle of a divorce involving two kids I had to cut it short. A decision based on emotions and financial reason.... so Kyoto will be a two day thing this time - hopefully I can make up for it later.

Jory: I have concidered climbing Fuji, but it's off season for that event - I have been told it's only open during july and august. Maybe next time I will of course take tons of pictures - the quality will decide wether they will be available for download or not

Bryan: I will be in Tokyo from the 21. til the 28 (returning to DK on the 29.) I'll stay at the Kimi Ryokan (http://www.kimi-ryokan.jp). . I'll expect go to different dojo's each night but if you get a chance to look me up late evening or during the day time please do so. Except the 24/25 where I will go to Odawara to meet with a host.

Mike: thank's for all the suggestions. I allready have a two week railpass - it should take care of most of my traveling needs.... BTW I kind of like Asahi - sometimes we can buy it here in Denmark.

With regards to the language barrier I'm not that concerned. I will stay with hosts from SERVAS (really cool organisation - look it up!!!) and they at least write a very decent english. I have also had a few lessons in japanese with a japanese girl that lives here in Denmark. I'm far from fluent, but I can utter a few phrases wich I hope will make the people I meet more open for giving english a go themeselves.

Once againg thank you all. I'll get back to you all with a tale of my all to short trip to the homeland of Aikido.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:19 AM   #13
batemanb
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Quote:
J$BS(Bgen Jakob Friis wrote:
Bryan: I will be in Tokyo from the 21. til the 28 (returning to DK on the 29.) I'll stay at the Kimi Ryokan (http://www.kimi-ryokan.jp). . I'll expect go to different dojo's each night but if you get a chance to look me up late evening or during the day time please do so. Except the 24/25 where I will go to Odawara to meet with a host.

Jorgen,

I'm meeting up with Michael Steumpel on the evening of Friday 23rd for a beer and probably munchies, why don't you join us, likely have a colleague of mine along as well since it will be his first night in Japan, unless he's poleaxed by jisaboki.

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:30 AM   #14
Chad Scott
Dojo: Hombu Aikikai
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Re: Going to Japan

Have fun! Maybe I'll see you here at Hombu if you decide to visit.

The enrollment here at Hombu is about 40% non-Japanese, so I hope you're not disappointed! Sometimes all I hear in the locker room is English.
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Old 09-09-2005, 09:23 AM   #15
JJF
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
Jorgen,

I'm meeting up with Michael Steumpel on the evening of Friday 23rd for a beer and probably munchies, why don't you join us, likely have a colleague of mine along as well since it will be his first night in Japan, unless he's poleaxed by jisaboki.

rgds

Bryan
Hi Bryan...

That sounds really nice. I do have (my only) class in Warabi dojo that night undtil around nine pm and I will probably get invited to go somewhere with the dojo-crowd but otherwise that would be fun. I also have practice next morning at 9, and being somewhat older than young I probably shouldn't take any risks...

Another problem is that my Ryokan has a curfew, so I have to be back by 1 AM. That means either no night clubbing or SERIOUS night clubbing

Just for arguments sake: Could you be a little more specific about the place you are going to meet? I might be able to drop by. Actually from my notes Tuesday the 27. would be a really good day to meet you since there is no practice in the dojo that evening.

Have a nice trip over there.... I hope we can find a chance too meet.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-09-2005, 01:52 PM   #16
batemanb
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Quote:
J$BS(Bgen Jakob Friis wrote:
Hi Bryan...

That sounds really nice. I do have (my only) class in Warabi dojo that night undtil around nine pm and I will probably get invited to go somewhere with the dojo-crowd but otherwise that would be fun. I also have practice next morning at 9, and being somewhat older than young I probably shouldn't take any risks...

Another problem is that my Ryokan has a curfew, so I have to be back by 1 AM. That means either no night clubbing or SERIOUS night clubbing

Just for arguments sake: Could you be a little more specific about the place you are going to meet? I might be able to drop by. Actually from my notes Tuesday the 27. would be a really good day to meet you since there is no practice in the dojo that evening.

Have a nice trip over there.... I hope we can find a chance too meet.
Hi Jorgen,

Can probably do something Tuesday evening too. I don't have a plan yet, was thinking about visiting one of my old dojo's but I'm meeting them on Sunday and Wednesday too, and I'm visiting Michael's dojo on Tuesday morning, so it might be nice to have a break Tuesday evening (I'm getting long in the tooth too and well past training twice a day, or every day , I'm way to gone for clubbing too, just sitting drinking beer is more my thing these days ).

Lets plan something for Tuesday (assuming my work doesn't interfere).

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:48 PM   #17
Jory Boling
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Hi Jørgen,
If you have limited time, climbing Fuji might be put off 'til next time. Depending on the route you take, it can suck up a couple of days easy.
However, you can climb it out of season. I went one month after the season was over. The route is open but the shelters at the top aren't and some of the stations along the way up are not. The only reason to climb it out of season = smaller crowds. Sometimes, a nice thing in Japan.

Again, have a great trip.

Jory
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Old 09-09-2005, 11:35 PM   #18
Duarh
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Re: Going to Japan

Hehe, good luck on your trip; I just got back from there a couple of weeks ago - man it was hot (for the first time I realized what those folding fan things were for).

In Kyoto, I'd definitely try and train with the Aikido Kyoto people. Okamoto-sensei actually taught here in Portland for many years before going back to Japan - funnily enough, I never saw her here but went and trained at her dojo in Japan. I loved the class, intense and good-spirited.

ahh, and visit the historical Kyoto Budo Center some morning around 9-10 to see beautiful Japanese girls (well, ok, boys too) doing kyudo. The sensei invited me in to quite a comfortable viewing position - I'd never seen any kyudo before, but it was great (helps if you speak some Japanese, though). Also, if you're interested in equipment (iaito, bokken, jo, hakama,etc), there's some very nice stores around the center, most prominently Meirin (a small store right across the street from the Center run by a nice old gentleman who'll give you discounts without all that much prodding - so don't pull out your wallet immediately ).

And Hombu is definitely the place to go in Tokyo, despite the hard mats. Nothing beats training with people who've been doing this for 40 years (one gentleman pulled out a photo of himself standing next to Osensei afterwards, and smiled) - you'll be like a rag doll in their hands and soon barely able to move from exhaustion, while they'll jump this way and that energetically, never getting tired. . .

[On another note, I also got the luck to spend an evening chatting with a married couple who trained at Hombu 40+ years ago (and actually taught in Europe for a while) - great opportunity to hear funny stories about all your favorite Shihan, so be on the lookout for that kind of thing .

for instance, the female university students at Hombu would always hope fervently that, at the start of class, Saotome-sensei would walk in the door, because he was very nice to ladies - but then Chiba-sensei would walk in and throw everybody around really hard. Or O'sensei, truly a powerful man in all respects with waza the like of which none of the deshi, not even Tohei-sensei who was viewed as the strongest (but talked a lot) could approach, would be doing all these no-touch throws on people -yet sometimes the attacker wouldn't fall, and then O'sensei would get very angry.

And, somewhat interestingly, the people I talked to had not heard of O'sensei dodging bullets (not while in Japan, that is) or any such thing.

But take these stories with a grain of salt, as error could've crept in due to my less-than-perfect Japanese.]

Last edited by Duarh : 09-09-2005 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 09-10-2005, 05:18 AM   #19
sullivanw
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Re: Going to Japan

Yeah, I'd just like to second what Toms said about visiting Aikido Kyoto. I train at Portland Aikikai; it would definitely be a worthwhile experience to attend one of Okamoto Sensei's classes. But regardless of where you go and what you do, I hope your time in Japan is a good one!

Will
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:28 AM   #20
JJF
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Thanks everybody.That's a load of good advice. I'm allready planning activities for my next trip

I'm checking wether I will be able to join Okamoto sensei but I only have a few days in Kyoto and I am staying with a host family so chances are slim.

Hombu dojo is probably not going to be possible this time. I'm not going all-out aikido - i really want to see other parts of Japan than just dojo's - but it's a definate must see some time.

Bryan: Sorry - I think i've mixed up the dates. Tuesday the 20. I'm still in Fujisawa visiting a host, but I think I'm free on the 27. Is that the day where you will go to Michaels dojo and do you think I would be welcome too? I could go sightseeing afterwards if you need to work, and then perhaps we could meet up for dinner and a few brewskies later? Feel free to PM me, so we can get into details a little more.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:03 AM   #21
maikerus
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Re: Going to Japan

Quote:
Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote:
Bryan: Sorry - I think i've mixed up the dates. Tuesday the 20. I'm still in Fujisawa visiting a host, but I think I'm free on the 27. Is that the day where you will go to Michaels dojo and do you think I would be welcome too? I could go sightseeing afterwards if you need to work, and then perhaps we could meet up for dinner and a few brewskies later? Feel free to PM me, so we can get into details a little more.

Jørgen,

Sorry for not posting. First time I've been to Aikiweb in about 2 months <shock!> I hope you get this...

You are more than welcome to drop by on Tuesday. We have two classes on Tuesday morning. The first is 0545-0645 and the second from 0700-0800 :-) The dojo is in Roppongi right by the crossing. Its on the 3rd floor of a building that has a sliding glass door and is between a pharmacy and a MOS burger.

Go here for a map: http://www.roppongi-yoshinkan.com

I did meet up with Bryan on Friday and we drank a few beers toasting things like international Aikido, friendship and the vast variety of yonkajo out there :-)

If not Tuesday morning, lets aim for Tuesday evening for a beer or three anyway.

cheers,

--Michael

-

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:18 PM   #22
batemanb
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Visited Michael`s dojo this morning with Jorgen, had a really fun practice .

Thoroughly enjoyed myself, reaffirmed my thoughts that despite there being 3 different association/ styles on the mat, Yoshinkan, Nishio & Independant (although I am also Aikikai ), there really isn`t that much difference between what we do

The best thing for me was that we were all able to meet up and play

Hope to do it again sometime, please look me up if you guys come to the UK.

Will post the pic when I get back to the UK if Jorgen doesn`t beat me to it .

Best wishes

Bryan

Last edited by batemanb : 09-26-2005 at 08:29 PM.

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Old 09-27-2005, 02:48 AM   #23
PaulieWalnuts
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Re: Going to Japan

Sounds like your having a great time, Im so jealous mate. Ive now reached my half way savings point, bring on the end of march. God its been hard this time round to save, as im saving twice as much as my last visit in half the time. SCARY beens on toast daily.
Any1 else planning any uchideshi trips next year. lets here about them.
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:56 AM   #24
maikerus
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Re: Going to Japan

Jørgen, Bryan and I and I hope everyone else on the mat had a good time this morning.

Its amazing how even though we all follow the same principles and can recite them back and forth to each other and use them to demonstrate why we do some technique in some particular way it still feels different when someone from a different style is doing it...or having it done to them.

They/We fall differently, start differently, resist differently, flow differently...etc. But, despite that it is still most definately and obviously the same thing. Just a different focus from - this morning - three different perspectives. Very interesting and very fun.

Hopefully they'll come out again tomorrow

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:00 AM   #25
JJF
 
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Re: Going to Japan

Hi everybody

Just wanted to add my appreciation for the kindness and hospitality extended by Michael and Bryan. It was a lot of fun meeting them and discussing our different views upon aikido. As Micahel mentions above it is so different - yet so alike.

I urge everybody that has a chance to meet up with any of these fine gentlemen to pursue the possibility. They have good things to say, and they are decent folks. Thank you guys. All the best wishes until we meet again.

- JJ

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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