September 03, 2013

Atsugi Super Trip 2013

Decoration, Samukawa Jinja
Following on from the World Taikai and International Study Session I headed off on the bullet train to Yokohama and transferred to Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture (just south west of Tokyo).

I was warmly welcomed by Morohoshi sensei (Atsugi Minami Doin) and his family. Morohoshi sensei has been a great friend since we first met at Atsugi Doin in 1985.

On the way to Samukawa Jinja with Morohoshi sensei and Harutoshi-kun
Despite a very busy work schedule, Morohoshi sensei ensured that I had a great time during my stay.

Samukawa Jinja (est. 5th century)

We enjoyed a trip to the Samukawa Jinja - a shinto shrine with origins in the 5th century! We also enjoyed a delicious sushi dinner with the Morohoshi family, friends and kenshi of Atsugi Minami Doin.

Dinner with the Morohoshi family, Mr. Matsuda, the Ozawas and the Atsugi Minami kenshi
I am also indebted to Mr. Matsuda who despite a painful knee injury took me out for a full day tour of the beautiful Izu Peninsula and surrounding area.

Surf City Atami
 On September 1st I attended a public training session of the Takasago Beya ("stable") of sumo. The senior rikishi of Takasago Beya is Asasekiryu - a well known Mongolian athlete who previously held the high rank of sekiwake.

Takasago Beya morning training

Asasekiryu and Makaroku
Following the sumo training, I set off on a trip to Mount Oyama (1,252 m) along with Kazutaka Hiate and his children. Once there we visited the Oyama Afuri Jinja (shinto shrine). In order to reach the shrine it is necessary to walk up ~2,000 steps, take a steep cable car/train-type thingy then walk up a bit more.  So it's fair to say that arrival at the top is a welcome experience! The view from the shrine and the shrine itself were both spectacular.


Oyama Afuri Jinja
I then spent a few days with my teacher Hiate sensei (Atsugi Doin and Tokai University Branch) and his family. After a big welcome dinner we set out the following day to pick some of the biggest grapes I've ever seen! This was followed with a fine lunch and a soothing onsen visit. Ahh!

Big dinner with the Hiates!

Hiate sensei - hasami waza
Hiate sensei also took time off work to ferry me all the way across Kanagawa, Tokyo and Chiba to Narita Airport for my return flight.

I wish to thank the Morohoshi family, the Hiate family and Mr. Matsuda for their incredible hospitality and kindness during my stay. 

Iro iro domo arigato gozaimashita.