Arriving in Tokyo, Japan for my Training

tumblr_m5dqhoyXvR1ry5vb8o4_250Arriving in Tokyo I ran through that airport like it was the amazing race. I left all of the other Australian tourists in my dust, including posh girls, drunk oldies and roid douche who I’m pretty sure was stressing because he didn’t know where to buy tickets to the free shuttle train from the planes on the tarmac to the Narita airport. Those of you who have been to the Narita airport will know which train I’m talking about, and yes it is the free one that takes you to your bags and is free and is the one that you are notified by the ground staff and signs in the airport that it is free and yes it is free. But I digress. I felt awesome! So happy to be back in Tokyo, the weather is warm, which I like, It’s raining, I don’t mind. I’m in Tokyo!

Attached is a photo of the first coffee I had on this trip I believe it’s from Georgia..or made by Georgia. I hope it’s not containing a Georgia. Who’s Georgia anyway? I got to lay off the caffeine.

I’m standing on the platform at the train station now waiting for the Narita express to Shinagawa listening to the music on my iPhone. Today’s waiting music was supplied by a medley of songs from the Beastie Boy’s “Check your head” and “El Camino” by the Black Keys. I was the most rocking-est, funkiest boss on that platform and I made this known to all via my “White guy” subtle hip gyrations and toe tapping. Which, periodically stopped and started when I came to the realisation that I was actually doing these killer moves and that other people could actually see me.

tumblr_m5dqhoyXvR1ry5vb8o3_1280Finally I reach my destination in Kamata. Now I had to find my hotel. I walk outside the train station, “There’s Mister Donuts.” I yell quite loudly “Ok I have a landmark. Let me try this direction.” I have no Idea how but with no map and armed only with a hunch I walked right into the hotel within 10 minutes of arriving in Kamata. Ok I lied. I know how I found it. I walked into the hotel to ask if the desk attendant if he knew where the Mystays Inn was…he did…we were in it. Beauty!

The desk attendant, through broken English, asked me to fill out the registry documents. I, through shattered Japanese, agreed and put my head down to write. While my head was down the concierge arrived to great me. I did not see him at this point. But, I was surprised to hear a Japanese voice say to me “G’day mate.” I looked up at him, he was wearing the biggest smile that I had ever seen. I knew that smile. It was a smile of finally being able to say a stereotypical saying to someone hailing from the origin of that stereotype. This was by far not in a bad way at all. He was actually so pumped to great me with a “G’day mate” so I slung a “Ow ya goin’ cobber” right back at him. I knew this had made his day. Or he was confused because he no knowledge of the term I had just used. It was one of the two. He turned out to be the nicest dude out and was very helpful to me. “What a legend this guy is.” I thought to myself. As he finished informing me about my room and the facilities we shook hands. I saw a familiar look on his face. It was the smile he gave me earlier. Oh he was gearing up to use the word mate again. Go for it champ, go for it! As he opened his mouth to say “See you later mate.” He cracked under the pressure and ended our encounter with the phrase “See you later Mum.” It was silent. He was shocked. We both stared at each other awkwardly. Then be both began to laugh. We must have spent at least thirty seconds laughing together. It was great. We had bonded in those few minutes of meeting. But I had to break the news to him. I had to tell him that I was not his Mum and that I could never really be his Mum but that would not make him any less special. This part of the joke was lost on him, but it helped me to another twenty seconds of laughter.

Upon finding my room I also found out a beer vending machine outside my door…not complaining.

tumblr_m5dqhoyXvR1ry5vb8o1_1280tumblr_m5dqhoyXvR1ry5vb8o2_1280Now it was food time. All I could think about was going to Jugg’s, Evette and I’s favourite food chain in Tokyo. Hidakya, I think it’s pronounced. As you can see from the photo set the sign is written in Kanji, and I don’t reads the kanji very well. As I left the hotel, the heavens let loose with the falling moistration. Rain as it’s other wise known. This journey was going to be rough. As I began to prepare to get soaked my estranged Japanese adopted son ran out from the hotel lobby and presented me with an umbrella. Again he was a legend, even if he wasn’t my real son. I will greatful to him for the 3 minutes of dryness this umbrella gave me before the wind got a hold of it on my walk and turned it in side out completely destroying it. Looks like I’m off to buy a new umbrella. I arrive at Hidakya. I love the Karaage here. I love the Gyoza here. I have fond memories of this place. The previous time I found myself in this establishment it was 2 a.m. and Juggs and I were astonished to find a businessman facedown asleep in his bowl of Ramen, chopsticks in hand. That was a sight to see. As I walk in this time I am greeted by the staff at the register and told to take a seat. On my way to finding my chair my eyes are stretched wide and I fight to hold my hand form pointing to a gentleman sleeping in his plate of chicken. I know this must be a sight common here as no one attempted to wake him. But I don’t see this a lot. To see it twice in the same place. I had to get a photo to show Juggs. I reached into my pocket to get my phone to take the photo when he suddenly awoke startled and puzzled to find me standing above him with my phone pointed at him. My Spiderman like reflexes took over and I quickly put the phone up to my ear and pretended to have a conversation as I walked to find myself a chair. I order a plate of Karaage, a plate of Gyoza along with a plate of edamame and a glass of beer. This felt great. I am so lucky to have the opportunities I do and the people around me who support me and allow me to do what I do. Everything was great. Now I felt bad as I realised it would soon be time to tell my estranged adopted Japanese (and I’m pretty sure he’s older than me) son that I broke his umbrella.

Article by: Cristiano Del Giacco

About The Author

Cristiano Del Giacco
Co-Founder & Lead Editor

Co-Founder of howweroll.com.au. BJJ enthusiast based on the Gold Coast and collector of Kimonos, travelling the world training with some of the worlds best.

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