I am home watching a very bad Anthony Hopkins movie from the 70’s or 80’s, it’s the third night, but I’m going to get through it! Today Amanda and I journeyed down to the capital city of Naha. It’s a port city with approximately 1.3 million people. This is where I train with Taira Sensei. This is also where Chogun Miyagi, founder of Goju Ryu was born and lived and established the Jundokan Dojo. So after working out in my lightweight and very cheap dogi (from way back when I was doing Oyama Style) I decided I could no longer wait until my nice midweight gi arrived. My shipment of all of my worldly goods is not set to arrive until at least 11/25. After the advice of new friend Mattia Maritan and Sensei John Eccles, I decided to head on over to Shureido and get a proper gi.
So of course I had Amanda get a picture of me outside, I’ve been documenting all sorts of things! And in we went. They had one that the young woman offered me to try on, she said if it doesn’t fit I can order. She asked how long and where I am staying, I said I’m here…I’m in Ginowan! So she said that would not be a problem. It did fit and just needed a few adjustments to get it right. And I’m having Kenkyukai embroidered on it as well as my name in Kanji! She wrote it down and I said is that my name in Kanji? She laughed! It looks very beautiful. So I await my phone call and I will head on down there as soon as I hear. I won’t be training with Sensei for a few weeks, so I should be good to go!
So we decided to go in search of Kokusai Street, the huge shopping district of Naha. After many close calls on winding narrow streets we came upon a parking spot and set out to see what there was to see (much like the bear who went over the mountain).
Well, it’s Halloween here, of course, but it never occurred to me that people celebrate it here. I stopped off at my local San-A (the supermarket here) and picked up a few bags of candy, just in case. And also, just in case no one showed up, I bought the stuff I like. Including these fabulous Matcha Green Tea KitKats. Why do I bring this up? We’re walking along the streets and there are all sorts of little ones and teenagers dressed in costumes. It was awesome! There were a bunch of teen-aged girls who saw Amanda and me and were smiling. We wished them a happy halloween and they said it back, they seemed thrilled that we appreciated their festivity! Amanda found some Shisa Dogs, she’s been looking at many shops and happily presented me with a couple of small gorgeous little shisa’s to protect my house! I think I’ve mentioned they protect the house from evil spirits, but they also are male and female. The male is the one with his mouth open (I’m not saying anything!) and the female has her mouth closed. The male’s mouth is open to catch the happiness to give to the female, which she keeps in her mouth….isn’t that lovely? So she found some that struck her fancy and made the purchase! We went into the Kokusai Market where there were all manner of things to buy, including those creepy Monchichi’s, they were everywhere! From beni-imo to Ryukyu glass to flowered shirts there were all kinds of things to buy.
We found a nice little restaurant to eat where you cook your own meat. Since I am a firm believer that if I’m going to a restaurant they should cook the food, I had the “Ladies Set” which included a lot of local favorites. Amanda ordered the plate of local meats as she is nowhere near as picky as I am! She did share her onion, pepper and mushroom which she grilled for me!
We stopped off at the Chiraumi Aquarium store that books trips up to Nago where the aquarium is located. I was under the impression that the aquarium was in Naha, but it appears it is somewhere else, so that is a trip for another day. They did however have a few tanks set up. Here’s a little video of some little sea snakes that were some of the cutest things I’ve ever seen!
So anyway, I finished that stupid Anthony Hopkins movie and am watching the classic Halloween movie… Rosemary’s Baby!
Happy Halloween everyone!