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Monday, October 30, 2006

OCTOBER 31st:

So my photo uploading issues seem to be largely related to trying to upload Pete's huge image files from his Nikon, as it uploaded the small sony images with no trouble. No photo editing software on this computer, so I'll have to remember to take snapshots for now, and then figure something out when I take my canon out on a photo expedition...

Anyway, I've edited this post to add some photos from the JRA riding place, more to come on November 1st, as I'm going back to watch the jumping and find out about vaulting...

Looking back towards the main entrance...this is the main walkway....
paddocks, there were probably 40? in total, in and around the trees and double fenced - nice!
grass ring, for jumpers I'm assuming
part of the XC course (its not a huge one, maybe 3'6-3'9" or something?)
Dressage ring w/ the three judging booths
Main grand prix jumper ring. The jumps are set for the student show this week
looking across a schooling ring to the jumper ring
stabling
they've taken a dirt track and converted it into lots of ring areas with jumps and stuff...
stabling again...
Map of the complex so you can get a bit of an idea...

OCTOBER 30th:

Right now, I hate blogger! It won't upload my pictures from yesterday, so I'm assuming it won't upload today's either. I'm also having some iify-issues with publishing my blog, but from what I gather from the message boards, it's not just me. Anyway, its still saving my posts, even if no one else can see them, so the plan is to keep blogging, and post when it lets me, so that I stay in the habit.

Today was a very exciting day!!!!

Started the day with a run (sans el lazy bones) and stopped at the park to do some fitness on their climbing structure (really, I wasn't playing!) I hitched a ride to Omotesando with Pete and then walked to Shibuya to get on a train and start my adventuring...

I headed to Ebisu to Good Day Books and got a couple of books there (its a big English language used bookstore), which was exciting in itself, I literally can't be without a book for a day, but we all knew that, so anyway... Unfortunately, I finished the first one already, less than eight hours later, so the three I bought, even though one is fairly long, and the other two aren't particularly short, won't really last me too long :( 100 pages an hour doesn't make reading a particularly cost efficient activity for me, I need to kindle a source for ARCs over here!

Anyway, after that, I took a train back to Shibuya, stopped at a Starbucks so I could start my new book, and then walked home (well as far as Yoyogi Uehara eki). Yesterday, I found a couple of vague references to some horse facility in Baji Koen, and I'd planned on checking it out, but by today, it was seeming like a lot of work (train, walking, etc) since I didn't know what it was going to be like.

I finally ended the internal debate by deciding that I could find someone to try and find out if there is any vaulting in Tokyo, and since I was wearing my vaulting jacket, I figured I could use the badges (which show a person doing a flag), as a visual aide in case they didn't know wtf vaulting was (pretty common even with native English speakers! If you're one of them, you can check out this link, and this one to get an idea of what its all about)

Anyway, I finally made it to the correct train stop (actually pretty close to Pete's house!), and then made a pit stop at a bakery, which was exciting discovery number 2 of the day - Despite what Pete might say, I'm in LOVE with bakeries here now! You get a tray and tongs, and then you get to load up on carby delights :) I got fantastic white bread (sooo good if nutritionally lacking), a buttery, garlicy bun, and some amazing cinnamon sugar-y donuty delio... Very good snacking while I hiked around the rest of the day!

After getting directions from a fellow shopper, I set off on the twenty minute hike to Baji Koen, sponsored by the JRA (Japan Racing Association). When I got there, it was SO worth the trip! Unlike a regular riding barn, which I was expecting, this is a full out horse park, with a 'grandprix' ring, several dressage rings, about 40 small paddocks, a track now converted into sand jumping areas, a huge grass ring, stabling, lunging arenas, a cross country course, and a big huge common walkway type area...

The whole thing is built around a regular park kind of, so there are human walking trails in between paddocks and stuff, and you can go on the xc course when its not in use, there is a traditional garden running between a couple of the xc jumps, and there is a playground or two on the site as well, its a fantastic mixed use project, and there were tons of families hanging out today.

There were also a bunch of riders working with their VERY nice warmbloods, and a 4'3" -4'6" ish sized stadium course being set up, so I watched them work for a bit.

Anyway, I hiked around for awhile, and then gathered up the courage to try and find out something about vaulting. I couldn't see an obvious office for general enquiries, so I headed to what looked like the show office when it seemed quiet, and luckily they had a bilingual lady on staff named 'Suzuki, not Honda' lol, who was able to tell me that JRA offices were closed and would be open on Wednesday, and she'd be here to come with me and talk to them, but in the mean time - yes, the only vaulting club in Japan happens to meet here! She said she wasn't totally sure if I'd be able to train with them, but she'd come with me to talk to them, and I really really really really hope I can convince them to let me train with them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She also told me that it was a Japanese Student rider (i think she meant university team riders) competition this week, showjumping tuesday - Thursday, and then dressage on Friday, and xc on the weekend... Anyway, I really hope something comes of this - cross your fingers for me!

On the way back to the station I stopped in next door at the very nice tack store, Cavallo, and checked out the super nice imported German (mostly) tack and stuff they had. What they had wasn't super over priced, but they didn't carry anything cheap, making the end product an expensive but not overly inflatedly so tack shop which was very drool worthy! No vaulting stuff though unfortunately...


Anyway, bounced my way back home, and then read w/ Venus until Pete came home. We made KD for dinner and dressed it up with left over spaghetti sauce to mixed reviews - some classics shouldn't be tampered with too much!

Other than that, just a quiet evening to Desperate Housewifering and reading, updating the blog, msn etc....

will keep you updated on the vaulting front - I can't wait for Wednesday!!!!!
D

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Dani, Please get in touch, I'm a horse person recently arrived in Tokyo. Send me a message to lrogers@stanfordalumni.org. Hope to hear from you soon, Lesley Rogers