Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rapid of my job - subsequent

Rapid(*) of my job was supposed to be ahead of me today, but the ending was surprisingly easy.
(*) In Japanese a highlight of work, task or life is compared to a rapid.

The day of the last week I was expecting a rolling rapid like a low head dam in swollen river, and facing to the job like paddling hard with paddle in high position, but a officer surprisingly told me he would take over the job from me and handle it.

That's a bit discouraging. It is just like being told to portage while I was couragingly going.

At the important meeting I was just sitting back and listening to the officer's presentation. The meeting ended smoothly through many agenda.
That's the business I do?

Maybe I should settle for it or even get out of being caught in trouble.

I go paddling to Mitake tomorrow taking a day off.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rope work training

I joined a rope work training at Rapie where I frequently go.

The objective of this training is to ensure the skills in case of emergency, before the back country season. It is like a rescue training in kayaking.

Autamun is approaching on the way to Futamata. Karamatsudake looked beautiful.

The training started from the eight knot. This was very easy, that I have already learned at RESCUE3. The next one is munter hitch. This was difficult for me, that I was not familiar with.
This is Munter hitch. The knot through a carabiner frictions the rope. It privents you from plummeting down when you descend and allows you step by step slowly. Not only hooking a carabiner on a loop of rope but making a munter hitch with rotating a carabiner is important, because tension rope does not allow you to make a loop.

The next one is a technique to ascend using prusik. Prusik is not often used though, klemheist or autoblok is more useful. It seems easier than prusik.
This is klemheist. It is chaining you through carabiner with the end of the rope winded in spiral with you. The spiral moves above but not below. Therefore the spiral prevents you from plummeting if you slip.
It is just rope, but used for many purposes. It is admirable.

In the afternoon we had a lesson of descending.
Shin-chan, our guide, demonstrated us how to descend the dam. However the wall of the dam was very slippery and much difficult for us as beginners. He changed the location to the cliff.

We ascended up the cliff using klemheist, belayed ourselves, switched a carabiner, and descended using munter hitch.
This was interesting, but I could not do on the top as I trained on the ground. Hmm, how should I do? What technic do I use, and how? I was wondering. At the end I could chain a carabiner with the rope using munter hitch, attempted to descend and found the carabiner was not chained with myself! No way!
It is important to go easy, that's universal for everything. I think I could do it if I tried again.

The last one is a training for wrapping someone injured, the picture looks weird though. The air got cold and it was warmest to be wrapped.

After that we had a party at the old Rapie and enjoyed drinking until past twelve (I felt asleep several times).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Beard groomer

As some of you have already known, I have my head cropped and grow beard.

I have had shaved with scissors every other day and that is artisanal, but that's getting a bother now. I had to use a trimmer for my neck anyway, and it is for 5mm or longer hair, which is not suitable for my very short hair.

Now I've got a new weapon.

A groomer, ER217 by National (a new type ER217P has been released).
I got right to it.
Good job!! With scissors the cut hair flies in all directions, but it does not with using it.
It crops a trim, and very quick.
It was like to buy a mower after using a sickle.

I should have bought it much earlier.

By the way my "artisan skill" was also admirable, I would rather say. I cropped the back of my head by touch.
My hairdresser complimented my skill.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Movie Diary - Makai Tensho (20/32)

Day 20 in Y2006, 32 days since started blogging of movies

I watched "Makai Tensho (Incarnation into the devildom)", 1981, a Japanese movie.

I was kicking around the rental movie store and noticed this movie. I could not really remember the story, which is mixed up with another similar movie.

I rented the movie.

Movie stars such as Kenji Sawada, Ken Ogata, and Tomisaburo Wakayama played nice. Also the imperative actor for such kind of movie is Shinichi (Sonny) Chiba, AKA the founder of JAC (Japan Action Club), and his favorite pupil Hiroyuki Sanada.

The video reminded me the story, and the movie I mixed up was found "Iga Ninpocho (A bible of Ninja)". The story was mixed because both movies are of early Edo era, or Shogunate Period, playing the devildom.

As I thought, this type of "concentrated" movie, such as "Battle Royale" was directed by Kinji Fukasaku.

# This morning I heard a theme song of "Harmagedon: Genma taisen" from TV. I glued to the TV to check out if the remake one was made, but I found it was the CF for pinball hall.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kayaking Diary - Mitake(29/141)

Kayaking Diary - Mitake(29/141)

Day 29, 141 days since started kayaking (Folding kayak 5 days)
Mitake 9:45-14:30(Self training)

Mitake: Water level -2.190m (Chofu bridge 12:00), 20°C cloudy
Gear:Kingpin icon 6.1+Dry Jacket+Wet pants. Cold unless paddling

I could not rise up this morning and slept after the alarm because of the hardwork last week. Eventually I got up 30 minutes later than usual, and arrived at Mitake 1 hour later through heavy traffic.
Changing my cloths at Kanzanji parking I met I-san, who taught much last week. She set up very quickly and left earlier than I. THIS is also different from my situation.

Benjo-shita was nice (the picture was the shot after water rose up). I was trying spinning first, then trying the bow under, as I-san recommended. It made me nervous to think I would have to show her the achievement of her lesson.

Struggling for a while and I feel I was relaxing to do something, such as adjusting a little in the hole and getting the bow under.

I-san and other high-skilled paddlers admired me.

After 11 o'clock, the water rose up, I ran down.

I practice at the left hole just line the last week, and managed to make 2 ends.

Lastly I went down to Misogi. The first drop of Misogi was pretty good (the picture is of 238-kun). Occasionally I spinned 4 rounds.
Cartwheel lessons probably improved the timing of turning around for spinning and made myself stable in a hole.

Misogi was soon crowded with many paddlers, that I have rarely seen. The gap surprised me that there were few people in earling morning.

I could not leave just after they went down and stayed to train for a while.

Tips I have learned based on the lesson last week.
Hunching the paddle deep into the water and rotating will be hard later half. Keep eyes on the spot and have chest out, and you will rotate easily.
No leading arms, but the body.

I-san lesson got my feeling sharpen. Thank you again, I-san.

Today I had to go work after that.
The parking lots at Roppongi hills were very busy for Tokyo International Film Festival. Finally I found a space on the 4th level. The strange scene is very interesting that a car carrying a kayak is parked among Ferrari and Porche.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Kayaking Diary - Mitake(28/140)

Day 28, 140 days since started kayaking (Folding kayak 5 days)
Mitake 8:45-16:00(Gravity, Inukai-san's lesson)

Mitake: Water level -2.20m (Chofu bridge 12:00), 21°C Sunny
Gear:Kingpin icon 6.1+Dry Jacket+Wet pants. Cold in shade

Today, we had a cartwheel lesson at Gravity by Inukai-san, ranked 10th in World Cup of Freestyle Kayaking.

Starting from Hosuiko, or "Outlet". we were surfing at Cupstar-no-se, or "Cupstar Rapid". for training much a basic skill in order to stay stable in a hole.
After that, we had lessons on pillow wave just before Start-no-se or "Start Rapid", rough wave of Start-no-se, and training for moving a body into the front from stern-cut at Mitsuiwa or "Three Rocks", where we usually pass away.

Then we had practice on the flat water just after the Mitake-kohashi bridge. Trying to slice the bow with holding a rock, I learned that slicing the bow is not to rely on a paddle.

Benjo-shita was wave. Surfing again there, and we were training cartwheel in the drop of the left side.

After lunch the training cartwheel continued in the left side hole.

She gave me various advices, which make me feel I can do it.

Tips today (many):
Slice with leading the body (or putting the body on)
Hold the paddle and the shoulder trapezoidal
Keep eyes on the hole
Head up, chest out
Lead the body from the boat
Not look around for spinning, but for cartwheel

I hope I can do it next week.

Inukai-san was friendly. She always made us fun. Thank you, Inukai-san:-)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kayaking Diary - Mitake(27/139)

Day 27, 139 days since started kayaking (Folding kayak 5 days)
Mitake 9:00-14:30(with Chabo-sans, Makky, Nagi-san)

Mitake: Water level -1.87m (Chofu bridge 12:00), 24°C Sunny
Gear:Kingpin icon 6.1+Dry Jacket+Short pants. Cold in shade

Sunny, good weather. Mt. Fuji looks great, same as yesterday. Since it was the third day of national holidays, I enjoyed smooth trafic on the highway.

I arrived at "Tennis Court" past 8 o'clock. Attempting to paddle for a while before everyone comes, I found a good hole on the left side of the river. Looks mild, just like Benjo-shita (or "Under the washroom").
Quick changing the cloths.
Just before the entry, the neck latex of my dry jacket broken. Running to Seven Eleven to buy a superglue and it will be ok for a while.

The hole was really tough. The backwash held me strongly when I got flipped. I couldn't escape with one rolling. Scurried away from the hole. Somebody told me it is a legendary hole at a certain water level, even a good skilled paddler would swim.

Everyone gathered and went up to Hosuiko, or "Outlet"(of a powerplant). The sign board was hanging low. The river ran fast. It made me nervous. We were paddling hard away from holds.
Benjo-shita was big and powerful standing wave. It looks very exciting! Like Nagaragawa.

This is Misogi. The rock before the eddy looked very low, surprising. Compare with this picture.

After Misogi, the endar point became a terrible hole. Chabo-san, standing left, shows how big the hole was. Top paddlers challenged into the hole one by one. Nicely played loop and cartwheel.

Sanbanme-no-se, or Third Rapid, became a nice hole. We played for a while. This was the only spot we could play at the water level, and many paddlers gathered.
The hole was difficult to play. I just spinned twice. Waiting in the shade made me a little cold.

After that, we paddled down to the tennis court, enjoying the rare scenery. Sorry for the swimmers, but I love this water level. I will have to check it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sweets Diary - Koubaien (Day 37)

Sweets Diary - Day 37

Sweets: Koubaishu Koumi? (Plum Liquor flavored) sponge cake
price 680 yen


10 days ago I stopped by Koubaien.
Usually I buy Kokutou (Brown Sugar) sponge cake at Koubaien, this time I tried Koubaishu Koumi? sponge cake.

By the way how do I pronounce it in Japanese?
"Koubaishu" because it is sold at Koubaien?
"Beniumeshu" because it is Umeshu (plum liquor) flavored?
Maybe I should ask the staff at the shop.

The taste was of pretty usual sponge cake, I did not feel strong plum liquor flavor.
Kokutou sponge cake really tastes brown sugar, as it is named.

I enjoyed the natual sponge cake taste, though.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fuji Safari Park

We visited Fuji Safari Park.
It was 9 o'clock, on time of opening when we arrived. The earliest booking time for Lion bus (safari bus) had already been at 13 o'clock. All tickets for taking pictures with a baby lion had been sold out. That's the national holiday.

So, we decided to go walking safari then. The car safari was jammed. We could enjoy taking time in walking safari at our own pace.

In lion zone, you can feed lions (200yen). A young male lion and female lion were fighting for food, which excited us.
The picture is of the male lion, who finally got food.

After that we drove all the way around, but we gave up another run because of the heavy traffic.

Fujiyama looked beautiful. It was carpet of silver grass in front of Fujiyama, grown up very well while no one can enter. It is because the field is the Higashifuji Exercise Field of Self Defense Army.

After safari we went to Hakone. On the way to Hakone, Gotemba was very crawded with cars towards the outlet mall. We could pass the jam away to Hakone.

We enjoyed a relaxing tea time and went back to Odawara through the Hakone roads in the twilight.
Looked around on the peak of the road Fujiyama appeared dignified. Lake Ashinoko also looked beautiful.
Hakone turnpike in the twilight had nice views.
The trafic was not so bad halfway, but Odawara-Atsugi Road and Tomei Exp. way was in heavey traffic. We enjoyed double Safari and Hakone, though.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kayaking nearby Tokyo

"Kayaking in Tokyo? Yeah, I know rivers in Tokyo. Tamagawa, Sumidagawa, Arakawa... It's a nice view to look down these rivers from the office, but kayaking on the rivers? That's different. How could it be possible to be paddling on such dirty waters?"

Wrong. Upper stream of the river has very clean, clear and cool water. Trees are green, birds fly, the sky is blue. You are surely refreshed in the clean air.

You have two major sites nearby Tokyo if you are interested in kayaking.

Mitake, just upper of Ome city in the northwest of Tokyo, is the upper stream of Tamagawa. 60km or 1 hour and half driving from the downtown of Tokyo takes you there, a nice rocky stream where you enjoy running down the river or playing freestyle in the rapid.
Mitake is also popular among boulders.

Nagatoro, in the west of Saitama prefecture, is also famous site for kayaking, rafting and river running tours. Nagatoro is in the west of Kumagaya city, and on the way to Chichibu. Nagatoro is the upper stream of Arakawa, a powerful river, where you also enjoy running down the river.

There are some outfitters in Mitake and Nagatoro.

Montbell Outdoor challenge:Outdoor gears and touring.