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26th August Tuesday

posted Aug 27, 2014, 8:31 AM by Andrew Glover   [ updated Aug 28, 2014, 5:31 PM ]
It is Aquarium day today!  Very excited, it is one of my favourite spots.  Adam and I had to try find a Post Office, so we rushed up to the Gushikawa one, only to find it was not open till 9 am and we were being picked up at 9 am.  So we abandoned that idea and headed back.  James from the Dojo Bar was our tour guide.  He is a fantastic guy, so accommodating and friendly.  He has a great knowledge of Ojibwa and the Japanese. 

We all piled into his van, it turns out it only takes 8 not 9, Sensei Bob was not joining us.  So I had to sit on the  ledge behind the front seat.   It was not the most comfortable trip in the world.  My butt will be sore for a few days i think.  It took about an hour to get to the Aquarium, it is a very nice drive despite my butt getting very warm.  The bays along the way are just so spectacular.  It is no wonder they call this the Gold Coast of Japan!  I reckon it would be great to spend some time up North just kicking back and relaxing. 

Once we got to the Aquarium, James gave us an orientation and we all headed in.  Having been there before I was happy to move quickly through to the main tank with the whale sharks.  I could sit and watch them all day. It is a really relaxing experience, the only thing disturbing it was the 100's of kids running around and screaming.  Seems we picked the holiday  period to come out.  Still it was spectacular to see the whale sharks.  Once we had got through the crowds, Adam and I sat and had a coffee and waited for Renee.  There are 2 dolphins in the tank now and they were rushing around like kids,  causing havoc.  It was so much fun watching them play around. 

The coffee was surprisingly good and I could have sat there for the whole time but I really wanted to see the Old Village.   Renee needed to do more gift shopping so I left them to it and went wondering.  It was so hot,  the moment I walked outside I started sweating.  At every water station I drank as much as I could and still couldn't get enough.  At one point I had to sit down and rest, it felt like I was getting heat stroke.  It was a good opportunity to go through all the little fixes in my kata and kihon.  Which is something I wanted to do.  

The old style Okinawan houses made of thatch and bamboo are surprisingly cool in side.  At least 5 degrees but somehow they catch the slightest breeze and manage to keep cool inside.

I would have like more time in the Old Village but we had to all muster at 1415hrs to go to the Orion brewery.  An ice cream sounded like a great idea and I met up with Adam and Renee.  I had a coffee float (cold coffee with ice cream on top) and a sweet potato ice cream.  Both were delicious. 

The Orion brewery was really fun. Its beer, what more can I say!  It seems every brewery I visit the bottlingplant is not working.  The tour was the normal thing.  One bit I did find interesting was they put corn starch in their beer. Also all the beer they produce is from the one plant and they only have three mush tanks.  Still they manage to pump out rather a lot of very good tasting beer.

We got 2 tasting samples, but some people only wanted 1, so Greg and I landed up having quite a few.  I didn't want to have too many as I had early training.  Again I could have sat there for a few more hours but we had to get bad and they only allowed us to sit there for 15 minutes, as the next group was coming through.

On the drive back it did the normal mid afternoon down pour.  Boy it sure can rain in this place, but as I said before it is a warm rain. 

By the time we got to the Hotel Andy Sloane was waiting to take Celina and I to training.  We both need to shower, so it was a mad rush to get ready and head off to training on Camp Foster Marine Base. I was expecting to have hassle getting on the base, but it was so easy.  We just had to present our passports and the paper work was done in a few minutes.  

The training was in a huge gym complex.  It was really nice, as is to be expected.  Sadao was there, so I got to workout with him.  We went through all the kata in one go.  He hasn't been able to train much lately as he is still at Uni and working, so it was quite a workout!  After that we got to play with weapons.

We went through Tokumine no kun, Urasi bo, kusanku no sai, chatanyara no sai, bo-bo kumite and bo-saikumite.  All were pretty much the same as we do them in RyuKyu Kobudo (as you would expect) just a few minor differences.  Sadao was a little rushy on the kumite as they don't do it as much as we do, pretty much every week in RyuKyu.  It was great fun to play with Uechi Sensei's sai.

Celina got a 2 hour plus one on one lesson with Uechi Sensei and Andy Sensei work with a brown belt, Byron.  It was a really great class.  Afterwards Andy Sensei was explaining bunkai to seiunchin kata to Byron and I was very pleasantly surprised to see him use the same bunkai as I do, as I have never seen that bunkai done by anyone else.  Apparently we was taught it bu an original student of ShimabukoSensei.

After training Andy took us out to the American Village and I Had the best soba ever,  beef and vegetable, man it was so good.   Andy gave us more of a history lesson,  I really enjoy listening to him filling in all the gaps of our Isshin Ryu history.  We were back in the hotel for about 2130hrs, just as the others got back. 

So I sat and chatted to Adam and Renee and had a few beers and it was off to bed to catch up on my blog.