My trip to Japan was awesome and very fulfilling.
I left early Thursday morning and arrived Friday afternoon in Haneda. I’m always going to fly into Haneda instead of Narita from now on. I had heard it was closer, but dude! FIFTEEN MINUTES BY local TRAIN, as opposed to two hour and $34 by express train. I think tickets to Narita had always been cheaper so I went with cheaper, but for that amount of convenience and ease, I’m always going with Haneda, no matter what the cost.
I landed at 1:15 PM and got into Kawasaki around 2:15ish. I checked into my hotel and my friend and former training partner Goto-san met me there. We chatted a bit, and then went shopping to Lazona’s Daiso shop. On the way, I ate the best Taco Yaki IN MY LIFE. Mentaiko cheese flavor. maaaaan. My body was tired and it felt late, but I went to bed around 6:30 PM, exhausted. Of course I woke up around 1 AM, but went back to sleep for another hour! Then woke up, ate breakfast, took a walk, but couldn’t fall back to sleep like I often do. Oh well. I figured out that I could actually stream Netflix on my phone using the pocket wifi that I bought (BEST INVENTION EVER!), so I watched an episode of The 100. Seasons 2 and 3 have really been stressing me out. x_x Anyone could die at any minute and I’ve come to care about the characters.
Anyway, I met my friend Tsuru-chan at 7 AM at Kawasaki station and we went to Saitama Super Arena together to watch UFC Japan! It was being broadcast Friday night in America, so that means the event had to be held Saturday morning in Japan because of the time difference.
Oh man, it was such a good card! Most of the fights were so exciting. I was super impressed with Claudia and Jessica. I was surprised K-Taro won a decision, actually, but really happy for him. He wasn’t really aggressive. Okami was a samurai and fought last minute two weight classes above, but did a crappy takedown and got Von Flu choked out in the first round. x_x Yashabo won. Yay. Tsuru-chan and I were near where they walked out, so that was cool.
I went straight to Groundslam after the event, but afternoon pro practice had already ended, so I stretched out with Nori-p and a few others, and then went home. Later that evening, I met Kunioku-san, my former striking coach, in Yokohama and we ate Yaki niku together. It’s always fun chatting with him.
Sunday was great. I ate and then went to morning class at Groundslam. Kimura-san was teaching. There were quite a few people there! I was impressed! I got a nice workout in!
After that, I showered and took the train an hour to Sagami-oono, which I haven’t visted since I went for the purpose of playing Dance Dance Revolution like ten years ago when that was the closest machine I knew. haha. There, I met my friend Midori, who was a former Berlitz English student who I made friends with. Then we met up with her husband and two kids who had become teenagers! wow. Together, we went to a city fair and watched her youngest daughter, who is four years old, do an English song and dance performance put on by her English school. It was so nice to spend time with Midori! She had been pregnant with her youngest when I left four years ago.
Then, I took the train to Atsugi city, which was kind of nearby, and walked around my old home! I love Atsugi and lived there for four years before I moved to Kawasaki. So my favorite sembei shop had gone out of business so I was sad. And my favorite bakery didn’t have the crunchy mentaiko pan I LOVE SO MUCH AND OMG two years ago when I went, I didn’t get to have it either, and last year I didn’t have time to go to Atsugi, so I’m pretty bent out of shape that they ran out and I didn’t get any. *huff*
I had really good taiyaki, though.
I went back to Kawasaki and had tea after dinner with Goto-san! He gave me models of two statues for my birthday, which was this day. It was great to chat with him and have tea like we used to frequently!!
Monday I went to Groundslam morning pro practice. Kunioku-san asked me to do warmups with him. We did like two five minute rounds of takedown uchikomis, and then I just held on and we did a round of grappling. LOL Then we put on gloves and did MMA. It was so cool! I was honored that he wanted to train with me. He kept taking me down. Effortlessly. haha it’s cool that despite me getting better, some things never change. I also sparred with Uno-san, Tokoro-san, and Shinashi Satoko san, who had started going to Groundslam lately. I had so much fun! I didn’t go killer speed with anybody and didn’t get hurt. That’s pretty much what I wanted!
Dude, Shinashi is such a veteran! Her record is 36 and 3. THIRTY NINE FIGHTS!!!! (I’ve had 38 but my record ain’t as good as that!) I was watching her fight around the time I had my debut fight in Japan!
I was actually so excited and psyched to be able to roll with her! Her grappling is slick!
Then I went to Shinagawa and met Karla, my former co-worker, for lunch. It was so great to catch up with her! She has since advanced her position and of course tried to get me to return to the company. Haha I really REALLY loved working at Berlitz. But that time has passed… Thanks for the presents! She gave me a minion hat and the hilarious thing is that I’ll probably end up wearing that out at some point…. hah!