Today's goal was to find out more about the vaulting club, so we headed to JRA Baji Koen for two o'clock, which was when I'd been told that vaulting was going to be going on today. Unfortunately, it seems that vaulting happens on Saturday afternoons, and Sunday mornings, so we missed what was going on today, which is too bad - I'm so curious to see what they're doing!
Hitomi (thanks for translating!) Managed to find out a bit more about the vaulting - it seems to be some kind of free local program, only for children who live in the area. You start the program when you are ten, and can continue until you are around sixteen. There is vaulting, and also riding - it sounds like they use vaulting as a good way to introduce riding to their students.
However, so far, we haven't been getting a very good response to me having anything to do with it :( The man at JRA that we talked to today, said they might be able to be more flexible, but that parent's in the club are very strict about following the regulations, and because it is a free club, that seems to put a whole other layer of bureaucracy on the whole thing. Hitomi suggested that maybe I can help with English in exchange for use of their 'wooden horse' which we ascertained that they have, and was given the contact information for the actual boss of the club, whom she'll be calling later this week - updates to come!
After we found out as much as we could about vaulting, we watched a little bit of the University show - it was the showjumping portion of the three day eventing. There were a few clear rounds, but again the course seemed to be pretty challenging for the riders, and we saw 3 or 4 eliminations in just under an hour. Before we left we wandered around the park a little bit more, and saw the traditional garden which now has a XC course built around it.
After we left the horsey stuff, we headed off to Sangenjaya, which is an area near where Peter used to live in '89-'91. Our goal was to find a photofinishing place in order to get developed the random film and disposable cameras which Pete has been finding. We had about six mystery films to develop from 1994-1999. It was quite a mixed bag, and some of that film was definitely passed it's prime! One of the disposable cameras had Snoqualmie Falls in Washington, Me at GNS in grade sevenish, a couple of GNS vs SMU soccer pictures, and Hong Kong, randomly. Other photos from the sets included Nagano, an old apartment, carved pumpkins, the Maple Leaf Ball, and a few of Sascha on a trip to Tokyo doing the tourist thing. It was quite a grab bag!!
While we were waiting for the film to develop, we wandered around the area, and then headed to Denny's for dinner. Now, you may be thinking that this is yet another string of completely Western Dining experiences, but you'd be wrong! Not much other than the logo carried over from North America, and there wasn't a grand slam to be seen! Pete had the Tempura set, while I had 'hamburger steak', (Salisbury steak), with rice on the side, and interestingly, a barely boiled at all soft boiled egg on top of my steak - the menu had a random soft boiled egg on a very good portion of all the items! It was actually pretty good mixed into the steak gravy...
We headed home after claiming the photos, and watched Cirque Du Soleil's Varekai on DVD. It always amazes me what they are able to do on that show, and I'm always so jealous of the Cirque kids - that would be soooo cool to be a part of! They also have amazing costumes - I wonder if I could nic one for vaulting?...Anyway, I think Varekai is the production that's coming to Tokyo (literally around the corner from Pete's house) in February, we'll have to try and see it regardless of what cirque show it is, they're all amazing!
Anyway, that's about all for today - not sure what the rest of the week will bring, but this weekend should be exciting - Tokyo Writer's Day on Saturday, and probably teaching a trial English lesson to a twelve year old girl as well...