Tag Archives: 2014 Japan Training Scholarship

Arriving at the Sohonbu

Well we made it! after a full day of travelling we are now settled in at the Sohonbu and ready to go. I was picked up from home by the airport shuttle bus on Saturday, I thought I was ready to go when the driver knocked on the door until James came out with my phone ‘ Umm.. mum, I think you will be wanting this!’

I met up with Sensei Sandra at the airport in Brisbane and we were on our way. The flight to Taipei was uneventful… what you would expect from the red eye! We arrived in Taipei early in the morning and had a couple of hours to pass before our next flight. After getting our bearings and finding the gate we would be leaving from (OMG.. we are leaving from the Hello Kitty Gate!) we went in search of some massage chairs. We found some in a lovely setting surrounded by plants and gardens… very relaxing. Then we wandered slowly back towards our gate taking in the sites. Eva Airways at Taipei airport have themed many of their gates, we had the Hello Kitty Gate, there was an e-library gate that had computers and gaming consoles and a place to charge my phone (very handy for the all important photo’s and facebook updates), a Traditional ceremonial Taiwanese gate, One with airplanes and hot air balloons.

So I may have mentioned the Hello Kitty theme on our boarding gate? I was thought that was pretty cool, and then I went down the corridor to where you actually board the plane and saw out the window…. We were flying on one of Eva Air’s Hello Kitty Planes! I cannot overstate my excitement at this! We hopped on the plane and were surrounded by Hello Kitty themed everything from ‘waste bags’ to headphones, headrest covers and even the food! After our initial excitement and flurry of photographing everything we settled down to another flight.

We arrived in Fukuoka just before lunchtime, after making it through customs Sandra showed off her Japanese skills and helped us get tickets for the right bus to Kumamoto and then a taxi from the bus transit centre in Kumamoto to the Sohonbu. When we arrived Soke Sensei was here to greet us and show us around and help us to get settled in. I also met Naoyuki Sensei and his wife Yuko. Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful so far. They are going to organise some bikes for us to ride which could be very amusing for Sensei Sandra as I fall off and crash into things all over town!

After we found our rooms and put our bags away we headed off for a walk to the local supermarket to get some supplies. When we got back we set up our internet, Thanks to Sensei Martin doing some research before we came we were able to organise to have a wifi hotspot modem sent to the sohonbu, we rent it for the two weeks we are here and then pop it back into a supplied postpack at the end of our stay. Very convenient and hassle free.

After a quick rest and catch up with the family I went to make some dinner, Considering I was very tired when I went shopping and had no real plan in mind and I hadn’t really looked closely at the kitchen facilities available I think I threw together an outstanding dinner! Now I’m going to have a shower and head to bed to prepare for our first training session at 6.30am.





2014 Japan Training Scholarship ‘Preparing to Go’

Well today is the day, I’m all (mostly) packed up and ready to go. Gi’s are in the bag, got my belt and some clothes and toiletries, anything else that fits is a bonus. I think I may have finally figured out how to post blogs (you can safely assume if you are reading this that I did figure it out). All in all it’s looking like a good day and a great start to my trip.

I am excited but I must say, also very nervous about two weeks training at the Sohonbu. There is nothing like training there in morning training amongst the seniors to really make me feel like a white belt again!

I am also a bit nervous about the language barrier. Sensei Sandra gave me a great folder full of useful information a few months ago, most of which is helpful Japanese but I must admit, I’ve been very slack about learning it, languages make my head swim. I have learned a few of the more important phrases though and I know in the dojo I will be ok. Thank goodness we live in an age of technology and translation apps!

I had better go now and finish packing my toothbrush and those last few things…. next update coming soon.



I’m all set, I have 500Yen… enough to get a coffee or some chocolate when I arrive at the airport!


Bags are almost packed