NTHK Token to Rekishi Article on the Sydney 2009 Shinsa
Trip of Sydney Shinsa by Yoichiro Kawakami
We had a three days Shinsa in Sydney Australia on 20, 21, 22 March. 5 of us from Japan, Mr Yoshikawa, Mr Okada, Mr Robson, Mr Iwamoto and myself joined this time.
Sydney reminds me of the impressive Opera house on TV, also this is the place where Sydney Olympic was held in 2000 when a lot of Japanse athletes such as Naoko Takahashi marathon runner did a great job. I was very excited to do my very first Shinsa in Australia.
We left Narita at 8pm on 18th March and arrived at Sydney Kingsford Smith airport on next day 7am. There was 2 hours time difference.
Mr Robson who came to Sydney earlier and Mr Adrian Schlemmer who is a Sydney side representative picked us up at the airport and took us to the hotel which is 20 minutes from the airport. It was the end of summer in Sydney and its morning air was so refreshing. Trees were just like the ones growing in our southern resort island. They released the narrow closed feelings of my body from the long flight. On the way to the hotel in the car I realised the sun light in Australia is much brighter than in Japan. It's like a brand new light bulb and everything was vivid and shining under the sun.
The hotel was located in the middle of Sydney near Chinatown. There are lots of shops around there and it was very convenient. We arrived at the hotel before 8am, but the check in time was from 2pm, so we left our luggage there and had breakfast. Then we went to Sydney history museum with Mr Robson and his wife. This modern museum was opened in 1995. They have a very precise record of Sydney's development starting around 1770.
After that we visited the Sydney Botanical Gardens and saw lots of different plants and huge fruit bats flying around in the day light. I thought bats were nocturnal. It was funny to see fruit bats hanging on a branch and fanning themselves in the direct rays of the sun on purpose. We had a huge sandwich and local beer at a restaurant in the Botanical Gardens then walked from shop to shop and finally arrived back to our hotel.
We checked in and had a littel rest. We walked around the city again. Mr Richard, Colin, and Roger joined us and we were going to have dinner at Darling Harbour with its beautiful night view. Darling Harbour is one of the bustleing areas in Sydney. There is an aquarium, shopping centre and lots of restaurants. It's like Odaiba in Tokyo.
We went for a ride on the monorail. It's like a a train with little rooms with 4 seats facing each other. You can't walk into a next car like we can do on a train. It runs about 5meter high above the ground. I was looking down on the city as if I were on a ferris wheel.
When we arrived at Darling Harbour station, I saw the great harbour view of yachts and restaurants with outside dinning areas. It was Thursday, but the place was busy with people enjoying time after work. We, a group of 9 could manage to get one big table and sit together. We enjoyed beer and delicious food. Baby octopus salad, beef, lamb, and kangaroo steaks, kingfish etc, everything was huge amount and tasted so good. I really enjoyed the dinner together because of the beautiful night view, nice weather, and great food. Even though I know only a little part of Sydney, I already decided I love Sydney. We walked back to our hotel with a late summer breeze. It was a very happy first day.
Next day we started Shinsa. This was the very first Shinsa in Australia. Mr Adrian and the staff people did the preparations very well, so we could hold the Shinsa smoothly. There were 190 swords and 73 Tosogu had been submitted in three days. The number was more than what we planned originally. There were very interesting swords, and a discussion among Sensei got excited. I put the result of Shinsa in other pages.
After the first day of Shinsa Mr Richard Turner who did the photographs for Shinsa invited us to dinner at a Thai restaurant. On secound day we had a banquet with 50 people at a Chinese restaurant. Third day we went to a fancy restaurant in a residential area. We had a wonderful time every night.
I mentioned about sightseeing and dining mainly here, but this Shinsa was very successful. We already have a plan to do a second Shinsa in Australia in two years. Personally I would like to come for holiday too.
Last but not least I thank Mr Adrian who provided us great help, Mr and Mrs Cummings who also supported to this Shinsa plan, and all the staff people who worked for Shinsa.
Thank you very much.