So, a bit of an update to my Japanese adventure in October 2017.
The Japanese Top League draw was announced just two weeks ago, and I somehow think they must of thought of me in mind when doing the draw….
Panasonic Wild Knights vs Kobelco Steelers
Osaka Expo ’70 Stadium, Osaka
Saturday 14 October 2017
So, if you have missed the importance of this particular game, I know two players who play for those respective sides, Berrick Barnes and Andy Ellis.
Berrick I have known for about 13 years and have supported him for many years as a fan and a friend.
I made a short vlog about our connection and meeting again after almost 4 years of him living in Japan playing for Panasonic.
Andy, I have known since 2014 when he waited on my table at the Lady Crusader Lunch that I attended in Christchurch, and afterwards, he always used to come over and say hello post game and I used to give him a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate as well (Memo to self, pack chocolate for Andy)
It is still a humbling feeling to know these players well especially with both representing their country in Rugby at the highest level, and Andy also being part of the 2011 All Blacks side that won the Rugby World Cup.
Since this announcement, I was so happy, because I expecting to embark on a wild goose chase around Japan to see them both play for their respective teams. It’s worked out well in that I can now plan my holiday around that particular game.
My plans now are to stay in Tokyo from 3-10 October then head to Hiroshima from 10-12 October. I then will base myself in Kyoto from 12-16 October before heading back to Tokyo as I return on 19 October.
I can then visit the Kansai area in the days that I am there, I know that 4 days is probably not enough time to visit everything, but I am planning on 2 days in Kyoto and 2 days in Osaka and maybe 1 day in Kobe when I arrive in Kyoto on the 12th as I do have a late check in at Kyoto, As I have a late check in in Tokyo on the 16th, I will spend an extra day in Kyoto.
I will be getting a 7 Day JR Rail Pass so I can transport around Japan on the Shinkansen, the infamous Bullet Train. This pass means have unlimited travel on the Shinkansen, so I can commute between Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe as many times as I like.
The other great thing is that my long-suffering partner, Lana is coming to Japan! I think somehow this is going to be a wild 2 weeks away.
She decided a few weeks back after she learnt she is required to take leave in late October from work due her annual leave being more than what she can bank. She didn’t want to go back to Israel due to family criticisms that occurred last visit (she’s 37 and unmarried) so she agreed to come to Japan and have a holiday.
Weirdly enough – we have never gone on holiday together.
Due to work, medical or family reasons, we haven’t been able to go on holiday together in the 7 years we’ve been together, she met me in London in 2015, but she had to swindle something with her work to work in their London offices so she could go to the Rugby World Cup, and the time I went to the US in 2014, she was in New York for a wedding and a bris (a Jewish circumcision ceremony) so we haven’t actually spent time together in another country.
As she lives in Christchurch, she is flying over in the morning of our flight to Brisbane, then we connect in Brisbane before heading to Tokyo. Qantas has linked our bookings together so we can try to sit together to and from Tokyo, but they said it’s not guaranteed, which we both said it is okay.
I’m hoping it won’t be a full flight either way, so we can sit elsewhere.
The other great thing is that I have negotiated with 9h Nine Hours capsule hotels to do a Review Time vlog and blog when I stay at their Kyoto and Shinjuku North hostels.
I am currently working with the other accommodation places we are staying at to do a Review Time vlog and blog with them, as we are staying in capsule hotels the entire trip and for those wishing to visit Japan on a budget, I do want to show that it is do-able as there is a stigma that Japan is expensive.
So anyway, I will update you more once more developments happen, which should be the JR Passes, Skyliner Tickets and spending up on camera equipment to utilise the Tax Refund System in Australia.