Report from the 2018 events in Japan
DISCLAIMER: This is a PERSONAL report with the views and experiences of the Greek team. Please consider it as such, instead of an “official” SSU report.
Although a bit late due to professional obligations, here is the report from our trip to Japan where we had a great experience last March, organization was perfect and everything ran smoothly.
I am glad to say that this is thanks to Kamohara sensei who is based in Japan again, he managed to make a great impact on the quality levels of the seminars and of the overall organization of our events, along with Takeyama sensei!
Going to Japan is always a fantastic experience. Every time is as exciting as if it was the first time
one visits this beautiful country. However, as sensei Denis Casey said, this time, our experience would
be bittersweet. Our initial purpose was to go and celebrate the 80th birthday of Yamada sensei.
Unfortunately, on January 7th, our beloved Soke passed away. Therefore, instead of celebrating his
birthday, we were there to mourn for his loss.
We therefore had a full week that besides of course tourism in the beautiful country of Japan, included a
heavy schedule of seminars, dan gradings, a visit to Yamada sensei’s grave, dinners (including the
memorial dinner for Yamada sensei), socializing, training and of course, competition.
Let me start by offering a glimpse from our side, the side of the Greek team, as every team has a
different schedule, different arrival and departure times, different amount of days spent in Japan and
different places that we visit.
We reached the Osaka & Kobe area on Sunday the 18th of March, in the evening. Rion Duell, a student from
the US, was kind enough to pick us up from the airport and come along to Kobe for a drink at “The Harbour
Tavern” in Kobe, where we usually hang out together with everyone (Thanks a lot, Rion!). We had a late night and we slept at around 2 am.
MONDAY MARCH 19TH
Monday morning, after a mere 2 hours of sleep (!) we had to wake up at 4 am as we took the first train to
Tokyo, where we would spend the whole day for tourism and for meeting good old friends! We took the
Shinkansen at 5am and we reached Shinjuku area 9 am approximately.
The Samurai Museum of Shinjuku was only a few minutes walk from our hotel, so, it was a great opportunity
that we had to seize!
In the museum we saw a lot of samurai armours and artifacts. One of those armours, was also the actual
armour that inspired George Lucas to design Darth Vader’s “helmet”, for Star Wars™! Pretty amazing, huh? Here are some photos from the museum: