Sunday, February 14, 2010

A friend from Sweden

Erica here!

Last week, Fred Jarbro Sensei from SollefteƄ, Sweden came to Japan for 8 days. His main purpose was to attend an instructor's seminar held in Ikebukuro. He dedicated the rest of his time to self-training and going to as many Shiramizu classes as possible to train and to help instruct. Arakawa Sensei felt that Fred Sensei was spending too much time doing karate and needed some touristy activities. So last Monday, Arakawa Sensei, his wife Keiko san, Fred Sensei and I went sightseeing in Asakusa and took a sea bus to see Tokyo Bay as well as visit Hamarikyu Garden in Tokyo!! Unfortunately, Louise had to work that day so she couldn't come with us =(

View of the city from our sea bus

Fred Sensei and I on the sea bus. Hai, chizu!

Hamarikyu Garden

We stopped in a teahouse in the garden for some traditional matcha tea and sweets.

Arakawa Sensei, Fred Sensei and I in front of Kaminarimon in Asakusa.

Afterwards, we went to the Wadokai Headquarters in Shinbashi to complete some paperwork for Fred Sensei's club in Sweden. It was a great day for me because it was the first time I've been to any of these places!

Fred Sensei pointing to the Wadokai Headquarter sign

Wadokai merchanise! Gifts from headquaters =)

** If you're a JKfan magazine reader, keep an eye out for an interview with Fred Sensei in Richard Sensei' Corner!! Possibly coming out this summer!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Let it Snow

Louise here,

Last night and this morning it was rather exciting for me because it snowed. I know that for a lot of people that's no big deal, but I come from Hamilton, NZ, and it never snows in town there. The only time it gets cold enough there, it's because the skies are clear at night, so there's no moisture to form snow. So this is a first for me, to have snow outside my home. My shutters even froze shut and I had to wait for them to melt this morning to open them. Woop woop.

The neighbours' garden under snow

I must admit that I'd probably not be as enthusiastic if I had to go out and work in it. I was just remembering the other time I've been in a snowstorm in Japan, at Miyajima (near Hiroshima) on New Year's Eve. It was fun for about two minutes, then as the snow kept blowing in my face, it wasn't fun anymore. I had to shuffle along huddled behind my umbrella, at risk of crashing into inanimate objects, other people and deer.

The famous floating Otorii. In the snow.

Deer, one wearing a snow-hat

But after it stopped snowing, it was magical climbing the mountain in the forest. I even wrote some (not very profound) haiku poems as I walked.

Cold white in my eyes

Not down but down, up, around;

Footprints follow me.