View Full Version : Impromptu Japan Journey 2001
05-19-2001, 10:31 PM
Just thought you'd like to know, Brett Foulger, one of the senior kenshi from Brisbane has begun walking from Saitama (pref near Tokyo - where he first started SK) to Hombu... his trip is only partially planned (that's why it's an improptu journey) and he'll be walking 30km each day from town to town, dojo to dojo (lots of SK training) and hopefully a Shorinji Kempo kenshi will put him up for the night before he sets off again the next day for the next town/dojo/training and so on...
Sounds crazy? That's what I thought, Brett had wanted to do this for a while but it wasn't until his farewell party that I realised... man, he's really going to do it... so before he left, I interviewed him about his trip, what inspired him to go etc... the interview can be found at www.shorinjikempo.org.au under "Special"
Read it and tell me what you think...
05-27-2001, 06:59 AM
Im in Tamano, Okayama-ken only about a day or so walking distance from Hombu, Im shure I could find him a place to sleep here.
06-03-2001, 04:05 AM
I'm sure that'll be much appreciated... by the way, I heard that the bridge across to the Shikoku island is not walkable... is this right?
06-03-2001, 11:19 PM
I dont rember, Ill ride my bike down there in a day or so and check it out....
06-04-2001, 06:17 PM
Cool thanks. I heard some people say you can walk across it and some say you can't, so am not sure...
06-05-2001, 06:16 PM
I promise I will go check it out and tell you soon, but its been really wet here (the raining season just started) so I havent had the chance to go yet... let you know soon though
06-06-2001, 07:11 AM
If the bridge is not walkable, is there still ferry service? Before the bridge was built, I remember the ferry from Uno(?) to Takamatsu as the best part of the trip. A beautiful cruise through the Inland Sea, everyone on deck with bowls of delicious udon - I really miss that part of going to Hombu. The bridge shortens the trip, but doesn't make it better.
06-06-2001, 11:22 PM
:wave: Yeh, I live in Uno you can take the ferry abou every 15-30mins 24 hours a day. Its 300 yen or there abouts, but sadly you can no longer get Udon on the boat it self, but now there is a new italian resturant and ice cream shop (YIPPE cultural Japan) next to the ferry landing... Im at minato (were the ferrys dock) almost everyday, that is were all the School kids goto hang out and smoke...
I made plans to take my bike down this weekend, so hopefully I can let you all know monday. If not there is allways the Ferry, or the train (which goes closer to hombu then the ferry does, but kind of defeats teh purpose of walking)
If I am no longer here, when he reaches this area (Im leaving on July 17) There is a Candaian Shodan in Uno, There is Yoshiwaka and Nakamura sensei(s) 8th or 9th dan and 7th dan respicteviely, or several other Kenshi in the area ....
Ill Let you know as soon as I can, Most likely monday
06-07-2001, 07:27 AM
I really appreciate it. You might get to see Brett, if he gets there in time... I think he was worried about some mountain range that's in the way. It's suppose to be a tough climb, but if he crosses it, it'll be quicker, otherwise he'll have to take a detour along the coast, and that'll means extra days of walking... man I get tired just thinking about it.
So what crazy things, big or small, have you guys done in the name of Shorinji Kempo?
06-13-2001, 01:13 AM
Do you have a regular contact with Brett as he walks?
It could be interesting if we could get some reports on his progress, things that happens along the way etc.
Best of all was of course if he could get access to E-budo himself and post a report.
06-17-2001, 07:36 AM
Brett has limited internet access (as you do when travelling across Japan by foot) but he writes when he can, and I've been forwarding his email on to the other members of the branch, so can post them up here too. He's been in Japan for a while now, but only started the walk earlier this week.
Greetings from Kounosu!
YES! I'VE FINALLY STARTED "THE WALK!" This morning at 8:30 I said thank-you and goodbye to Kouno-sensei and his family in Menuma and set out in the RAIN (which fell ALL DAY!!) for Hayashi -sensei's place in Kounosu. I had a lunch break for about one hour and arrived in Kounosu at about 4:30. Total walking time of about 6 and a half hours and OH MY GOD MY FEET AND SHOULDERS HURT!!!! It's almost too painful to reach out and pick up a rice cracker...!
I must have looked like a pregnant hunchback with my large backpack on my back, small one on the front and all of me covered by a poncho! Just 2 long skinny pins sticking out from the bottom and a head from the top... I hope I didn't cause any traffic accidents!?
Today Hayashi-sensei and his lovely wife are putting me up for the night and tommorow I'm heading off to Urawa (the Capital of Saitama) and the next day to Tokyo.
As I was walking I found my hands fall into the "kesshu" position -resting on my small backpack - and found it to be quite peaceful and easier to walk...! (But you wouldn't believe how much I'm in pain right now!!!)
06-24-2001, 07:02 AM
To all the fantastic people who have and are supporting me on my journey...
AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I've got some bad news, please bear with me...To recap, I set out from Saitama and walked for 4 days, stopping at Tokyo for the weekend to recover from the original shock to the system!! As originally planned I walked about 30km a day and my legs and feet finally started to get used to the stress I settled into a routine.
On the way to Yokohama I started peeing blood (!...sorry - but it happened!) which had me worried... However Tomo (from Brisbane Shibu) assured me that it is just "...a sign of hard training - not to be unexpected..."(!)so with that reassurance and pills from the doctor I continued walking to Hiratsuka... It was there that I realized that Japan is not the most backpacker-friendly country...
I knew that I would have to look for a place to stay in the towns/cities where I had no contacts, and so I optimistically started looking for lodging after 8 hours on the road... 3 or 4 hours later having stopped at various temples etc, I realized that a tired, pathetic looking foreigner on your doorstop is not the most reassuring thing to your average (Japanese) household! I am not making any judgements here, and I guess there have been lots of bad events in Japan lately to make people even more wary of strangers... Everyone that I talked to has said that "Japan is becoming so dangerous!!" Anyway, having just about reached the end of my endurance and after a few phone calls I was lucky that a friend of a friend lived close by and was willing to put me up. Thank Buddha!That experience however was enough to make me realize that the hardest part about this trip is not the walking, the pain or the distance... but the difficulty in finding an impromptue place to stay!!
I have to accept responsibility for my overconfidence and lack of foresight, and it was with a very sorry heart that I have decided to postpone The Walk until I can make better arrangements for accomodation. :( I want to apologize to you all for the false start... but rest assured I have not in any way given up!! Now I'm in Himeji and while I'm going to start working I'm also going to be hard at the email and on the phone making contacts along the route. I was prepared to camp out for the night if necessary, but the problem was that there's nowhere to do that in the city! "Get out ofthe city!" you might say, but around most of Kanto one city just blends into another, blends into a town, blends into a city...etc. D'oh!
So far I've sent off a message to Shorinji Kempo's HQ to ask for a list of the dojos along the way and am awaiting a reply. I expect to re-depart around the end of Summer... about September or October?
There's a saying in Japan, "shippai-wa seikou-no moto" which roughly translated means that your failure (experience) will become the basis of your success, or "learn from your mistakes"! I have and am, so pleaselook forward to hearing about "The Walk, Continued"!
Thanks again for your support!
(My mobile # is still 090 6454 3674 for now)
06-24-2001, 07:44 PM
:toast: only in defeat do you learn the lessons needed to succeed. I`m going to give him a call and see if I can be of any help.
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