Took the subway down to Kasuga to watch some Judo. I really do find myself missing the practice and randori but I'm also glad to be taking a break. The last year I did of Judo I was playing catch up for the time I had spent learning with a shoulder that dislocated at the drop of a hat. I was also in the last two semesters of my education and things were really stressful at the time, so much so that Judo sometimes had to be skipped so I could use the time for my homework. When I got to the Kodokan the children were going through their uchikomi (practice motions) and like all children, some take it seriously and others not so much. The adult white belts came out and were led through streching and warm up exercises for a good 30 minutes. Back in Chico we'd go for maybe 15 but never a half hour. Of course, our lessons in Chico were only 90 minutes while here they're three hours sometimes.
I watched some of the instructors while they were giving lessons and got a few insights into a few throws that I'll have to remember when I get back into it. Of course, seeing is one thing and doing is another. Finally some of the black belts came out and started doing randori with one another. This was what I had really come here to see. One guy who had an almost Elvis style set of hair was going against another man who just couldn't get a throw on Elvis. He was just too damned good. Elvis (I like his new nickname) later sparred with another black belt (a foreigner who sounded American) and then went through moving practice where they each threw one another in rapid succession. Very interesting. I tried to take photos of some of the throws but usually they were so fast my camera would only catch them after the throw was done and someone was on the ground.
Stayed in the Kodokan for close to three hours before leaving to get something to eat at Tokyo Dome City. Stopped into my favorite ramen place (of course) and then wandered around the area for a while. The weather wasn't too cold and when the wind wasn't blowing the tempurature was actually nice. Took me forever to find a restroom and after I did I started walking back towards Akihabara to do some gaming and relax. The walk wasn't too long, only about a half hour and when I arrived the first place I went to was Don Quixote to get something to drink and a snack. Got some chocolate and a Dr Pepper since they no longer seem to have any Cherry Coke. Perhaps it really is disappearing. Headed back to Hirose and played some games, including Gundam Card Builder. Hadn't played the game in a while and did alright but I have to admit, it's hard to get back into the game. Just doesn't interest me as much right now. Also saw their newest card game, some kind of weird RPG combined with moving your cards into certain positions to cast spells. Interesting. I'll have to take another look at it later. Played some more games until it was after 10pm and finally took the train home.
Thankfully, my Korean roommate was completely quiet throughout the night. No light coming from her room either so it was nice and dark. Also no smell of smoke from her frequent smoking. Spend most of the night struggling to write some of these reports. Like I said before, it's getting harder to finish these. I was in the middle of writing when I started to feel very sleeply and called it a night at 2am.
Photos for February 27th, 2007