gwalla: (team banzai)
Still haven't had time to put together a real comprehensive post on my trip, but to tide you all over here's a couple of videos of me at the tournament:

My match from the men's team randori event:

The freestyle kata I did with Ash:

I don't think there's any video of my individual randori match, or my koryu dai san suwari waza with Aaron from the kongodantaisen.
gwalla: (language buff)
日本語で: これはBKのMSウィンドーズ7ワーパーです。七百七十七円ハンバーガーです。パッティーが七枚あります。日本だけで七日だけで売り物です。こわいですね?

英語で: This is Burger King's MS Windows 7 Whopper. It's a ¥777 hamburger. It has 7 patties. It's for sale only in Japan for 7 days. Scary, huh?
gwalla: (Default)
In case anyone's wondering why I haven't posted about my trip yet, it's because about half of my photos are on a laptop that is still currently in Japan, travelling with a friend. I'd maxed out my memory card (due to shooting video of matches, which I may be able to YouTubify later) about halfway through and needed to make room. He'll be back next week, I think, though I may not be able to meet up with him until the following weekend.

In the meantime, if you hear any rumors about me at the tournament afterparty, they are scandalous lies.
gwalla: (lon chaney)
I lost all of my matches, ate some good food and some terrible food, drank way too much beer, saw Nijo castle and the Heian Imperial Palace as well as several temples and shrines, and generally had a blast. I will be back.

More substantive posts (with photos!) to come.

Now, to bed. It's good to be home.
gwalla: (Default)
The airport shuttle will be picking me up in about a half hour. Japan here I come!

I'm bringing my laptop, but I'm not sure how many Internets I'll have over there
gwalla: (wryyyyyyyyy!)
Deep in the forest lived Billy and his charming companions. They peacefully honed their bodies and listened to music there. But a wave of development came upon the forests. One who would turn all to road. Kagamine Rin had come. Billy must stop the construction before all is turned to road...

Oh, Japan!
gwalla: (oh yeah)
All right! Finally, my Kyoto trip is all booked and ready. Got my hotel for the last few days there, a tour for one of those days, and the shuttle to take me to and from the airport. (The hotel for most of the trip was booked ages ago, and the plane tickets and associated misadventures have been documented in previous entries).

Once again, I nearly gave myself a heart attack. When making sure that the stay dates would all line up (since, as nice as Kyoto is supposed to be, I think sleeping on the sidewalk would be none too comfortable), I noticed that the ticket to get back was for a flight leaving on the afternoon of Sunday the 27th and arriving at 11 in the morning. "Oh fuck," thought I, "I thought I was getting back on Sunday! I'm already using up all of my PTO as it is. Shit shit shit!"

So I ended up calling United and, after battling their goddamned speech "recognition" maze until I was about ready to throw the phone through my monitor, managed to get connected to an actual human, who told me that yes, the plane leaves on the 27th, but yes, it also arrives on the 27th. I then realized that I'd totally forgotten about the International Date Line, and felt like a moron. On the plus side, that means I have one more full day to spend in Kyoto. And I'm very glad I found this out before confirming my hotel reservation (doubly so when it turned out that getting the room for one more day actually lowered the rate by a good amount).

So, in short, boo-fuckin'-yah
gwalla: (oh yeah)
I have my tickets! I'll be flying out the 18th (nonstop!), and returning on the 27th. I'll be staying at the Oyado Ishicho Inn, a ryokan (though one with modern amentities). That's only through the end of the tournament, though, so I still have to reserve a room for the 24th & 25th.

I almost had a heart attack when I ordered my tickets, and United rejected my card. I tried retyping it, and it was rejected again. Finally I tried retyping it with spaces between groups of digits, and it worked. Of course, the instructions say nothing about the spaces being required, and many e-commerce sites don't allow them. How hard is it to program a credit card payment system that doesn't choke on either?


May. 30th, 2009 10:33 pm
gwalla: (spanking time)

Oh, Japan.
gwalla: (wryyyyyyyyy!)
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gwalla: (pervert)
Behold... the BOOBCLAW!
gwalla: (o blaarggag?)
gwalla: (camera)
Last Sunday I went to the city for the final day of the Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival. The sky was clear and the temperature was scorching hot. Forgot to bring my good digital camera, so cell phone pics are all I've got; hopefully I cleaned them up enough that they don't look too horrible.

Saw this sign in Berkeley while walking to the BART station. Not related to Sakura Matsuri at all, it just amused me.
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At the festival, I caught the tail end of the parade. This was the very last of the mikoshi: the sake mikoshi! Yes, those nearly naked guys were standing on it as the others carried it on their shoulders down the hill. One of them was even bouncing up and down. I felt kinda bad for the porters. Some of the folks walking alongside would occasionally toss cupfuls of water over them so they wouldn't get heatstroke.
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This was the next to last of the mikoshi. The porters for this one were all teenagers from the neighborhood, I think.
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The reason for the season:
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That object you can barely see through the cherry branches is the Peace Pagoda.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Japantown festival without a bunch of crazy white people dressed as anime characters:
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It's hard to tell from this distance, lighting, and resolution, but that first picture, with the Sailor Moon cast? Yeah, those are all dudes. With beards. Dancing and doing karaoke of the opening theme.

They needed to work on their synchronization.

This one's for [ profile] maggiemarmalade: a couple of FLCL dolls in the window of the model shop. Unfortunately I have yet to master the art of shooting through glass.
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Picked up a CD at the S.F. Taiko Dojo's store in the Japantown mall, and a flyer for the Soko Gakuen Japanese language school, which I'm seriously considering. I just need to figure out which class I should join (I've taken a few years of Japanese, but it was a long time ago and I'm really rusty. Still, I already know kana and some kanji.)
gwalla: (o blaarggag?)
Trailer for The Machine Girl (warning: bloody!):

Thank you, Japan!
gwalla: (aqua boogie)

lol japan


gwalla: (Default)

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