Saturday, October 18, 2014

Competing in Seoul 2014 - Day 2, Oct 11, 2014

The competition site for horseback archery in Seoul was the dressage arena for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.  Today the site is dominated by a huge race course that is the main draw (the towers in the background below overlook the ends of the racetrack).

Day 2 of competition featured an opening ceremony that included a representative from each country.  A fun part of mounted archery is the costumes competitors wear.  Often these are rooted in the traditional garb of the competitors' countries.  I say rooted because historically women did not participate in what was an exclusively samurai activity in Japan.

For some countries, like the USA, "traditional garb" is tricky because, while mounted archery is a part of the history of the country, few competitors can claim a personal connection to Native America.

As a result, competition garb becomes more a reflection of personal taste, imagination, and/or comfort. (Go Teen Team USA!)

Go Horse Archers!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Competition - Day 1

The first day of competition was the single and double shot competitions.  The glorious thing about these competitions is getting to see old friends and meeting new...

...Doing some shooting...

And doing a lot of waiting...

(The costumes are a fun part of competition and everyone adds their unique flair.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Typhoon Vongong

And of course, there's another, BIGGER typhoon headed for Japan.  We're supposed to fly out of Narita, hopefully, just ahead of when Vongfong hits Tokyo.  Sheesh...

Seoul 2014 - sights to see

My mom and I said farewell to the horde and we headed into the neighborhood to see what there was to see.  We ended up walking a couple miles or so over the course of the day up and down the hilly streets of the Itaewan area...

...perused the street fare...

...and ended up at the lovely Leeum Samsung Art Museum

Seoul 2014 - dining out with the horde

The first evening meal in Seoul with an amazing representation of the world with Germany, Poland, US, Australia, Iran, China, Japan and South Korea represented here for a dinner featuring kim chee soup.  The less stout of the stomachs around quailed a bit at the spice but it was very tasty to my point of view.  Jet lag was definitely hitting some of the travelers hard as they struggled to stay awake at what was 3:00 AM home time.  At least there were foot wells here so our legs weren't asleep, too!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Seoul 2014

Well, Typhoon Phanfone passed through Tokyo right on time so that the skies cleared and the sun came out just about an hour before we were due to head out of our little house to catch the train to the airport. Many profuse apologies could be heard along the way for the little delays caused by the weather. The plane was late leaving Tokyo and we ended up landing about 10:00 PM in Incheon.

Beautiful airport...poor defenseless cacti...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Typhoon Phanfone

Oh by the way - we're taking bets whether we'll be on our flight to Seoul tomorrow evening...  (story here)  ... We narrowly missed a typhoon last year leaving Seoul for the US; that one turned inland to China at the last opportune moment. Phanfone looks to park itself over Tokyo either 12-24 hours before we leave OR just as we're leaving.  Tokyo seems to be taking it relatively in stride with the big complaint being the cancellation of a Grand Prix Formula 1 race.

Tokyo part 2

We had a beautiful day yesterday hanging out with my high school buddy, Sue B., who has been living in Japan for about 8 years now.  On the itinerary was walking, the Imperial Palace,

more walking,getting lost in the insanely huge Tokyo station

(which meant more walking - searching for the underground Ramen Road for a lunch of noodles),

more walking to get back to the fountain park where we sat for a long while eating dessert, talking

and watching the neighboring couple freak out at the sight of a ginormous orange-headed bee-thing (this thing was literally an inch and a half long - one of our yellow jackets would fit in its abdomen).

We ended the day back in one of Sue's favorite parts of the city, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa.

Perfect end to a perfect day!  Arigato!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sumire House, Japan

I'm sorry to see that it's been a year since my last posting - sad state of affairs, eh? But at least I've got a good reason for posting now - a report from Tokyo!

After leaving on October 1st and a long and thankfully uneventful flight we landed at Narita airport on the afternoon of October 2nd. The international date line always bends my brain...

Our humble abode for the next few days is Sumire House, a tiny house that survived WWII, amazingly so considering how much of Tokyo burned.  It's also amazing that the house has survived given the single strand knob and tube wiring mounted against the original wooden ceiling beams - not in use any longer; unlike another house we know that had knob and tube wiring used until 2005.

I don't have so much of an issue, but Resident Spouse needs to watch the beams at key junctions.