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  #1  
Old 04-16-2006, 03:17 PM
Hannah Hannah is offline
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Thumbs up For everyone that helped me...


This is for everyone that helped me get to Japan back in March!

First off the trip was absolutely amazing, and you all helped me get there! I have no idea of how I could repay you other than tell you how I did and tell you about my trip. It was pretty amazing. I got to meet about 40 other people from The States alone. It was hectic the first two days that I was there because as soon as we arrived in Narita International, the coaches told the team that our first tournament would be the next day. So to start off, out first official day in Tokyo was completely set aside for the first tournament and the team didn't do too well including me. Basically the first day was all business. The next day though, the coaches told us that there was a mandatory seminar that we all had to go to and train. But it was really worth it considering the team trained with two world-class champions. The instructors gave us a heads up on what to look for while fighting the Japanese and how to score faster. After those two days, I was completely tournament-free until the following sunday and was a tourist from then on.
The third day in Tokyo was deffinetly cool. After breakfast we spent the entire time touring downtown Tokyo. First we went to Tokyo Tower which is a little taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Then the group went to Asakusa Kannon Temple with its colorful Nakamise Archades. These archades sold everything from kimonos to chopsticks. Next , we went to Akihabara Electronics District. It was three times the size of the Flea Market in Boston and sold ALL electronics! I really wished that I had bought a new CD player there. By then it was beginning to get dark so we went back to the hotel and had dinner with instructors George Kotaka and Elisa Au, the world-class champs we trained with!
The next day we left for Hamamatsu, which was a five and a half hour drive. In Hamamatsu, we visited the Honda Motorcycle Plant. I thought, personally, that it would be a waste of time and money, but it was actually really interesting. The next day, we all went to Hemiji Castle in Osaka taking the JR Bullet Train. The castle was so big and was really cool looking! After that, we went to our new hotel in Himeji.
The following day was probably my favorite out of the entire trip. We all went to Naruto and visited the Enygyoji Temple on Mt. Shashazan, the site of the movie, "The Last Samurai". I thought it was really cool that we got to climb a mountain to get to the temple. Later, we left naruto and crossed the Seto Great Bridge, which linked Honshu, the main island, with Skikoku Island, the southern island. After that, we went to our third hotel, which was overlooking the entire Sea of Japan!!
The following day, the team left Naruto for Osaka. Along the way, we got to stop and get a bird's eye view of the Akashi Great Bridge that linked Skikoku with Awaji Island and also, the Akashi linked Awaji with Honshu Island. Later we went to Osaka Castle. It's setting and location was absolutely amazing, but the inside of the castle was more of a museum setting.
When we arrived at our new hotel in Osaka, the coaches immediately told us that we had a training date at 5:00 because it was time to get back into tournament mode. After that, me and my mom had to get some shopping done for my sisters. The next day was a free day to tour Osaka, but there were also some options which I decided to take up. A little less than half the team went to this place called Nara where deer are worshipped!! You would pay like 150 yen for these biscuits and you present one to a deer and say "lay"; it will bow and you bow back and the deer will take the biscuit. It was really funny because as soon as the deer saw the biscuits in your hands they would come up and nip at you until you gave them one!! But walking into the temple was really the coolest. They had this statue of Buddah that was as big as a house and wooden gurdians that were the sizes of small garages!! After Nara, we went to the Mizuno Sports Shops, which is the #1 place to buy sporting goods, like the required helmets that the team needed. As soon as we got back the hotel, our coaches again told us that we had to train that night because the tournament was the next day.
Well, it's the following sunday and th entire team is together again the represent the USA againt Japan! The whole USA team piled into one of the motorcoaches to pump each other up for competition. The tournament started at 8:00 or so and there was some stiff competition. But with the team knowing what they were up against, I'd say that we did much better. Myself included, most of the team placed in either forms or fighting. I received a bronze in fighting!! The whole day was awesome and I'd do it again in a heartbeat! The next morning though, it was 4:30 and we had to say our final goodbyes to the LA Group that was able to stay later and the NY, FL, and Chicago Groups left to go to Narita International. Ultimately, the whole trip was a blast and I, again, can't thank you enough for your generous help!! I actually plan on taking another trip to Japan in 2007! I apparently like the idea of traveling halfway around the world alot!! Thank you so much and if there is anything that I could ever do for any of you that helped me get to Japan and meet one of my dream, don't hesitate to let me know!
Sincerely,
Hannah Kaltenbach :-)
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2006, 05:04 PM
Dble Haul's Avatar
Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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Hannah-

Congratulations on a successful completion of your trip and competition. Please let us know of any further exploits that you have, and thanks for the update.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:47 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Hannah!

Great to hear about the adventure, and of course it was our pleasure to help you get there. It's inspiring to those who know you how much conviction you have for training and the way you take karate very seriously but always with a smirk. Even though I am getting up there in years I learn a lot from the dedication of the younger students each class. As Sensei might say, we all gain from each others energy at the dojo and you sure got a lot of that!

Now I will teach these casting classes with the same energy and conviction to do the best I can.

Congratulations and welcome back.
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