Sadly this will not be an article about my adventures there. More likely a reminder for me to do it sometime when I come back to Japan next time. I wont have the finances or the time this time sadly.
To simplify it, it’s like the Japanese version of El Camino. (An other of my short term plans). A month long pilgrimige in Shikoku visiting temples around the island.
Of course there is a wiki page for it:
There is a good series of articels too with really nice photos here:
It’s the end of September. This means two things for the people here, school starts again and we are kind of half way. For me it’s a good wake up call too to try to enjoy the good parts of being here more and care less about the bad parts.
I have 6 more months to get better in Japanese because it will be a lot harder when I leave.
This also means the end is coming closer and closer so I have to start looking at job ads to see what could I get in to and start applying in the not so distant future.
Get back to enjoying practice.
The people like me who have a lot of hobbies just don’t fit in to Japan. Here people focus on one thing and they get good in it or at least try their best. For me, getting locked in to one thing is a small part of hell. I love to have all kinds of hobbies, different activities, variety. Yes, I become mediocre max in most of them probably but it makes me live while the other hand if im locked in to one activity it makes me fall in to depression and black thoughts in a matter of few weeks. So… well… there were hard weeks here. But I have a good enough “I don’t give a shit about what others are thinking” attitude most of the time to keep me free of the Japanese social pressure. Most of the time.
On the other hand I do like kyudo and to practice. So… working on a balance 🙂
Lets start with some issues:
- Having some laptop issues, but I’m working on it. Now it got some ram upgrade, the monster runs on 24GB now! Lightroom flies. I still have to get a good editing software for movies. So you should see more of the photos I take soon.
- Motivational issues for writing, photography and the rest.
- Slacking of with Japanese
- Being sick a lot lately. Its the local Kaze, or catching the cold. This covers kind of everything that is not semi serious. It just keeps me down a lot and missing kyudo practices too.
- Japan is expensive
And some plans:
- More time with people 🙂
- More scheduled times for tasks
- Write. Write a lot. Get things out and share the adventures with you all. Starting right with this post 😛
- Big walks
- More planned photography, not just clicking away
- Baito baito baito
- More kyudo practice
- Even more sadou time
Next to the Thursday Edosenke Sadou classes at the Uni my sensei invited me to her official Friday classes. I am more then happy to go whenever I can.
It’s always an experience. I can sit with 3-5 old ladies and one of the senseis most advanced students who all are chatting about anything and everything and practice for a few hours. There are good ones and less good ones, but everybody is trying their best. It’s a 2-4 hours of seiza practice too. A lot of midori geiko (learning while watching) and 1 or 2 times I can practice too. So many steps and so many words. Sensei is strict on notes, she doesn’t let me take notes. The body has to remember she says. I try. Again and again. And she gently, with a low voice puts in a few words when I miss out a step or do not know what is the next step.
The next step in this particular set up. Because there are so many ways. I am getting more and more steps in mine. Until now there were two big versions. One on a tray, which is a more mobile, everywhere possible to perform version and one with a summer set up in her tea room. In this I had already variations in my practice too. Having the chairo (tea caddy) already inside or bringing it in, showing the used dougu (equipment) to the main guest after the tea or not. And I have seen an other version where the chairo is already in the tea room but in a drawer next to fireplace. Also I have seen koicha (thick tea) ceremony too, where the chairo is the ceramic version and comes in a little bag and we share a big chawan with all the guests and the main guests talks about the tea and the chawan with the tea maker. Today I have seen a ceremonial version of putting coal on the fire with a little bit of incense at the end.
And all this is just the surface of this one school. There are many mane more things like chabana, food preparation, winter set up, smaller one tatami tea room set up and many many more things.
You all know I am a huge tea guy but even I had no idea that this will be my island here, my best class, closest to my heart here in Katsuura.
I have to pick up as much as I can while I am here. I have all the help, I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.
I remember not starting at home, I remember trying to go to Prague to meet Martin to start in Omotesenke and then I was placed where I should be. Its funny when pieces fit together after some time.
A good friend of mine told me a few times. Careful what you wish for because you will get it.
This year is about these pieces.
So… I had some time of from my blog it seems. But they always say when you don’t have time to write about it you live your life 😉 I was trying to do that 😛
But I have a lot of plans about what to write here and had a lot of adventures in the last months I want to share with all of you. Catching up in the background slowly.
Look back in the coming weeks 😉
If you do kyudo or tried it in IBU or wherever in Japan and want to practice in Europe here is a map of the dojos in Europe.
As a rule of thumb, Eastern Europe and the German and Italian speaking parts are usually Heki dojos, Western Europe is usually ANKF shomen dojos. Of course with exceptions and with some other ryus present in some countries.
But usually all dojos are welcoming towards all kinds of kyudoka.
because… why wouldn’t they? 🙂
Have fun practicing! That’s the most important 🙂
I’m still around. 😉
Riding the train is perfect for having time to type in a quick update for you all. The school schedule is still over stuffed and we have close to 0 time for studying. It’s mostly running from class to class. Its close to the end of the semester, I have 4 reports to write next week.
My last months were memorable and i learned a lot about myself too.
I had a few trips, I met amazing people, made new friends and more. I’ll try to get some posts out of me in the coming weeks. I have a lot of photos too waiting to be sorted, articles to be written about sadou, kyudo, competitions, life in Japan, student life, clubs, life in the country side , surfing, SUPing, and much more.
I miss writing and having time to compose my thoughts in a more coherent way. So… you’ll here from me soon 🙂
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 😀
Dont forget! If you are planning to do JLPT this year, application deadline is 28 April!
You can apply here:
Few sites to help with preparations:
JLPT N4 Study Material