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My trip to mitsumine
Lost count of how many times to japan since the first mitsumine five years ago. Maybe 10?

Day one
Arrived 9 am honbu. Senpai Enami drove us there in an rv. I’ve never been inside an rv before. It’s cosy. The trip took four hours and was smooth until the last hour when we had to take the long winding road up. I get motion sickness easily even while reading SMS on a smooth car ride so you can guess what happens when I’m inside an rv that swerves left and right continuously. Again I turned green, yellow, white. No improvement from previous outing. It was a relief when finally arrived but we were late and the cold was an assault to my respiratory system. I just had sinus endoscopy so there was no skin filtering or warming up the air before it entered my lungs. So that was pure torture. Especially when we had to haul our luggage uphill.
Shihan okazaki’s class was already started when we entered. They were doing bassai dai then ura waza. Partnered with sensei sakurai, he is such a sweet and gentle (toward me) man! And he traveled all the way to mitsumine and then went back home on same day. Such dedication.

After class, we had short rest then dinner.

Note to self, when kancho offers wine, accept it, whether I drink or not. Do not daydream when standing. Never let a Shihan or sensei come to you to shake your hand. It should be the other way around. Just because they didn’t do it in instructor camp, always always seiza if I’m late.

Night was spent chatting with sensei ligo and Shihan Michael. Slept early cos had to get up early next day.
Roomed with ushi deshi, ikeda.

Day 2:

No problem waking up.
Cold weather outside a torture on my lungs, sounded like I had asthma but it was just the post op echoey breathing sounds. Couldn’t breathe thru mouth otherwise the cold would just dry up my mouth.

Didn’t jog well due to this. Luckily kancho did a short stint of ikken after that so had time to catch a breather. Then the temple blessing ceremony. Think I’m getting old, everything is passing by fast. The jogs seemed shorter, the ceremony seemed shorter. Seiza in temple was not as cold as it used to be.
There is a spot outside the temple, a line of drain covers where I used to walk and twisted my ankle the first time I was there. And I did it again today! All the tendons in my ankle cracked audibly. This did not help the hiking later at all!

Breakfast then packing up in preparation for waterfall hike

So we started hiking down. Turned out distance between top to middle of mountain was only 3.4 km. Again, things seemed shorter including distances. So with the stupid twisted ankle, I walked and lagged behind and the more I walked, the more I twisted it. Twisted left ankle, right acl knee that dislocates whenever it feels like it. It’s a wonder I managed to complete this hike. Gary’s sensei (note to self, find out his name) was so kind to carry my bag for me. He was also the one who accompanied me during the jog.
Not to self, be out and about before the scheduled time, warm up, and condition lungs to withstand the cold.
We reached the waterfall, felt like there’s more water this year. But it wasn’t as cold. Maybe cos I’ve been taking cold shower baths in Malaysia everyday. I was more concerned that i could to swim’ not that the water’s deep but I’m short. So sensei muratsubaki got the fire started and everyone took their tops off except the ladies. And they took turns going in. Not really cold, didn’t even shiver when I got out, or was it due to me adding more layers of fat since five years ago?

Hike down was even faster than I remember and we took a bus up. Bless the driver was driving so carefully, didn’t even get car sick.
Took a shower, had curry rice for lunch then into the rv for drive home.
Have a huge blister on my left tiny toe. It’s a big deal for me as I almost never get blisters or ulcers. Learned a trick to counter car sickness. When he turns left, I slowly turn my head in the opposite direction. Seemed like that helped though looked pretty silly.

Arrived back to nishi kawaguchi at 6pm. Checked into hotel and promptly washed my muddy gi like an idiot before realizing there was a self service laundromat downstairs 100 yen for 30 min. Doh.
That’s mitsumine 2013 for me. Two more days left in japan, wonder what tomorrow will bring?