Today was a busy day. I got up this morning and headed to a Iaido class with my friends Caryn and Dan(she wrote a book and it rules). They are regular participants, whereas I am as green as it comes when swords are involved. I took one fencing lesson in high school and own a couple replicas. That’s it. We arrived at the dojo and Dan briefed me on a couple of rules. Bow when you walk in, bow when you walk out, and don’t be a dumbass. Easy.
The Sensei provided me with a practice sword to use, and set one of his students to run me through some basic stances and forms. It was a lot of fun! Lots of repetition, but that’s what’s required to improve at anything. I apparently took to it well, and enjoyed the entire lesson. Thanks to the Sensei and class for having me, you guys made it a wonderful experience!
Next, we met up with my family and went to check out a cat parade. It’s probably not at all what you’re thinking. No, it was a parade of people dressed as cats. The only requirement to join in and march in the parade was to dress like a cat. Wear cat ears, maybe some cat make-up, the guidelines were not picky. We gave the kids the option to do so and they said no. So we watched. Weird stuff like this makes me love this country even more. All sorts took part, and they had an awesome drumming group near the end. Seriously, they were rocking!
After this we headed to the Shibuya and did a little browsing and a little shopping. My daughter bought a suitcase, I bought Star Wars slippers that feature Yoda saying something in Japanese. We then went for dinner.
We popped back to Shinjuku and went to a restaurant called Sweets Paradise. It’s an all you can eat dessert bar. They serve some real food too, soups, pasta and rice mostly, but the rest is all cakes and ice cream. It just dawned on me that we neglected the snow-cones. You pay one flat fee at this place and then have 80 minutes to eat as much as possible. The food was good, and the desserts were great! If you’re in the area go check it out. We had fun and ate way too much.
At this point we were all a little wiped out and headed home. Tomorrow we head to Osaka, before returning to Tokyo for the weekend.