After visiting a sentou in Tokyo with Shirokuma I got hooked. It is an amazing feeling to go in to your neighborhood sentou, wash off the days dirt and then sit in the hot water for as long as you can manage it. Kind of a rebirth. Not as amazing as a good ice swimming after a sauna but pretty close 🙂
So when I moved to Katsuura I was hoping I will find one here too. Walking through the town I was lucky to bump in to it 🙂
Then one night we decided to visit with Eric
This is what you see when you enter:
and this is the door to the bath
They even have a medieval turture massage chair from a few centuries back
We had the bath for the two of us, no other guests at the time.
It was amazing! If you ever come to Japan don’t miss the onsen / sentou experience!
Since we had practice again on Sunday it was time for a treat. Especially that we cut and moved the grass on the archery field. So after the training we went to find a place to eat a nice lunch. Which turned out to be a little harder then in any other day. We checked out at least 5 places until we found one ramen place open. Its close to the Hayashi Supermarket.
It works with the same kind of menu machine that the university cafeteria or a few other places I tried in Tokyo. I really like this system. You pick what you want, pay and give the little paper you get to the staff. This way there is no question about change or any money handling. Faster, easier, better.
I tried the local special ramen, Katsuura Tan Tan Men. It is mid spicy and very good! We had a nice time with two guys from kyudo club. Even got some dorama suggestions 😀
Here are a few tips for cheap and convenient traveling in Japan:
This is for school holidays only. Gives you 10 days of traveling for one month. You can use the days whenever you want, so its perfect for making bigger trips in Japan. You can only use it on specific trains though, so the trips will be longer but a lot cheaper then paying the full price.
This is the essential travelling card. It works very simply, you put money on it and going in and out of metro or train you beep it on the gates and you get charged the exact amount for the distance you made. Can be also used to buy stuff in some shops and even at some drink machines. Very handy, makes your travel a lot easier.
This is for a one day free travel in Tokyo. There are multiple versions, just metro, metro and train, etc. I used the metro one. 600 yen for all day metro traveling is a nice deal and kind of a necessity if your place is a bit more out of the center.
Just a quick story about Japan. One day I was running back from kyudo to catch the last 20 min of iaido practice and it was not where I looked first so run to an other place but forgot my phone on the table there. After class I run back when I realized but it was already too late, the buildings were closed. So I went back next day and it was at the same place, untouched, waiting for me. Nobody even looked at it because it wasn’t theirs.
Same reason you can see umbrellas here and there and hats put on tables.
I was always hearing these stories about how people don’t touch things that are not theirs here, but seeing it real life is quite different.
It turns out there are 3 students in the class. So we were asked what we want to study. I am not sure I understood all the answer but one student will make his own bow from a semi done bow base. This is a tradition with heki shooters and well… it was like that in the old days. You started from a base bow and formed it so it became yours.
The other one wants to do something with sport and kyudo connection.
I (The Third) want to learn as much Heki as they can teach me. Its promising so far 🙂 We will do probably mokuroku, I got some shooting advices (aiming, stronger left hand and everything one time only). And it will be a looot of practice.
Ígértem magyar bejegyzéseket is és bizony, úton vannak!
Vannak kisebb net problémáim de igyekszem megoldást találni rá.
De addig is, akik most tévednek ide:
Ez a blog a Japán kalandjaimról szól! Március vége óta élek itt, Tokyotól délre, Chiba megyében. Egy Budo egyetemen tanulok kyudo-t és mellette belekóstolok pár más harcművészetbe is. Ez azt jelenti, hogy a bejegyzések nem lesznek nagyon utazósak mert innen minden messze van. Bár remélem azért néha néha az is bele fog férni. Viszont több minden lesz arról, hogy mi van egy kisvárosban, a vidéki életről és mindenféle budo-ról.
Jártam Japán legnagyobb Anime Con-ján Tokyoban, Kamakurában, Yokohamában és Tokyoban pár helyen eddig. Ezekről készülnek a bejegyzések amikor időm engedi. Legyetek türelemmel 🙂
Going to a competition together is either a train ride or a bus ride. In this case it is a 4 hour bus drive, which is why we left around 5 in the morning. So as you can guess, this trip starts like any other school trips, with sleeping on the bus. 😛
Lets start with the fact that I am not a good shooter. (Yet :p) So you can imagine my surprise when the first thing besides welcome the students in the kyudo club told me was that we have a competition on Sunday was quite a bit unexpected and a little shocking. I had a week to get used to the idea and now after this day trip I can tell you more about how a university kyudo competition looks and feels like.
This was a Naka Kanto area competition between universities at the Dokkyo University kyudojo.
It is a very interesting kyudojo. It is with the usual earth azuchi (target area) and open roof but with a green material instead of grass between the shooting area and the azuchi and it’s on the second floor . It is made to be used for competitions with hitboard and a small viewing area too. Speaking of viewing area, since its tiny basically very few people can watch the actual shooting at the same time. The two teams who are competing, the next two sitting behind them and a some others from the side. Most of the teams are somewhere else, resting, talking, shooting makiwara (Shooting form practice to close distance).
Speaking of teams, it was a team competition. A team consists of 5 kyudoka (archer) and we shoot in renmei taihai style. Four arrows a turn. Two times two arrows in the hand. The dojo style is to do this in the sitting style, so after every arrow you have to go to seiza and wait for your next turn.
You can see the shooting of one team below:
As with many japanese martial arts there are many schools (ryu) in kyudo too. And to have a common ground between all of them there is the renmei style which is in a way neither, but developed from the others. This way the different schools can participate on events together. Also nowadays most of the people around the world are shooting only in this style. Like in Chiba it seems. I was the only shamen shooter as far as I can tell.
I did better then I expected, found new things to correct in my form and exited the dojo at the wrong place 2 times :p
But 2 out of 8 was a hit and maybe with the help of the sensei I am getting to know some of the problems why I miss a lot. Left shoulder is still weak and breaks out backwards to the side, left hand is still not strong enough and I am working on the new right hand movement I have started to learn recently. All in all, it is a lot better then even a week ago.
So how did we do at the end?
From 25 teams we ended on the 12th place. Not enough to qualify for the next round, the prefecture tournament but it was a good start.