It has been a huge dream of mine to go compete in Tokyo, Japan at the Pan Asian Championships. Well it has been renamed the “Asian Championships” now, but that doesn’t bother me too much because I’m freaking going this year!
This all came about very suddenly. Before an appointment two days ago, my client was admiring my medals from the Fuji tournament and it made him ask if I have competed in Japan. I told him “sadly not yet” and explained that the event will be held in 6 weeks and I’m going to have to miss it again this year. He asked if it was just a money issue keeping me from going and then offered a trade. He used frequent flyer miles to book my ticket, and in exchange he and his wife are set for their next year worth of appointments!
I think all parties are happy with how this worked out! I’ll be working my end of the deal for a while, but it is definitely worth it to me!
I will arrive on September 9, compete on the 12th or 13th, and fly home on the 16th. I am very excited to get to test myself against a whole new group of competitors that I might never get to slap hands with otherwise!
I have decided that the day after I compete I will hike to the top of Mt Fuji since the climbing season is closing on the 15th of September and I’ll have just enough time to get up and down before the trails close. I’ve climbed a mountain before and remember it as a tough, and hugely rewarding experience. This will be about an extra 2,000 ft higher of elevation so I will definitely plan to take my time on the way up! I remember that on the last mountain I climbed I was starting to notice the thinning of the air for the last 1,000 feet to the summit.
Since my plane lands in the early afternoon, through the power of caffeine I plan to keep myself awake starting at least 6 hrs away from landing. This way by the time I clear customs, pick up my rental mobile wifi unit, navigate my way on the metro to my hotel, check in, find a ramen shop for dinner, and then relax a bit in the traditional Japanese bath at my hotel… I should be ready to sleep by 8 so I can skip the jet lag as much as possible.
I’ll have two full days to do whatever I like before the competition begins. I’m thinking the first day should be a good explore day and for the second maybe a visit to the Tokyo Disneyland would be in order (if budget permits!)
If anyone has any suggestions for things to do, people to see, places to eat… I am all ears!
Make sure to follow my Instagram page for a steady stream of awesome photos!
I’m never one for spending much on accommodations since the more I can save in that area, the more I have to spend on food – besides, I’ll be out exploring all day anyhow! When I’m traveling abroad I usually stay in hostel type accommodations.
The place I have chosen to stay for my trip to Japan, is a capsule hotel. Think of it as a train sleeper bed, or a navy bunk. I stow my luggage in a locker and climb into my capsule which in this case consists of a tatami floor, a rolled up futon mattress, and enough space to sit up, lie down, and turn around – so it’s like a properly sized dog crate!
The perks with this place are that I’m staying in a ladies only floor, and the hotel has traditional bath houses, saunas, free wifi, really good network with local businesses, easy metro access, and a free vending machine in the lobby that dispenses coffee, tea, and miso soup. I get all that, with a bike rental included for just 20 USD per night!
Busy Busy Busy!
I wrote out my travel/training/competition schedule for the next couple months, and it made me feel very busy. Here it is!
August 19: fly to Boston and see family
August 22: Compete at the Boston Open with the family cheering me on
August 23: Overnight bus to DC for training
August 28: Overnight bus to Atlanta
August 29, 30: Compete at the Atlanta Open Gi/No Gi Competition
August 31: Take bus back home to Nashville
September 8: Start flight to Tokyo
September 9: Arrive in Tokyo
September 12, 13: Compete at the Asian Championships
September 16: Fly back home to Nashville
September 24: Fly to Las Vegas
September 25, 26: Compete at Master World Championships:
September 28: Fly from Vegas to DC
October 2: Take bus from DC to New York City
October 3: Compete at No Gi Pans
October 6: Fly home to Nashville
By the time I get home in October, I likely won’t have a dime to my name.
Totally worth it!