Jet-lagging, sore, tired, sad, and happy are just a few of the feelings I have after returning from an over two week long trip in Japan. A beautiful country that I never imagined to travel to this early in my life. I ended up tagging along with some great friends to enjoy this amazing country.
Press play for the theme song of the trip to play while you browse.
With a group 13 rollerbladers deep we weaved in and out of the southern areas of japan. Train jumping from city to city guided by trustworthy Japanese bladers. In my opinion we had about 9 to many Americans and about 300lbs. Too much luggage for this small country. But made for a very fun and interesting time with this motley crüe of nomads hell-bent on skating, drinking, eating, and not spending too much to do so.
The Japanese are very resepectful to their people and their country. Everywhere we went nobody broke any rules. It was unherd of to try and cram more then 2 people in a hotel room. Although there were hardly any trashcans in sight there wasent a bit of trash on the streets. Not even a peice of gum stuck to the sidewalk. Bums where few and far between but didn’t beg from you. You could drink alcohol anywhere you wanted yet there were no drunks aside from us after wild karoke nights. Not to mention I don’t recall ever seeing a single police officer. All of this in Tokyo, a city with twice the population of our biggest states.
We attended skating events where we were treated like stars. Signing autographs for kids that never imagined the Americans they watch in the skate videos would ever pass through their small town. Parents would pack their minivans with as many kids they could fit to follow us to each spot just to get a glimpse of us skating. Pros like Jeff were greeted with a larger-then-life hand painted portrait of himself. Skating is life to these kids. As a young kid you are required to be in a “club” until you are 18. If available kids opt to be in a skating club where they train everyday. Trust me these kids are good. 12 year old girls are better then me at skatepark.
The friends I made out there are more then I could have imagined. I knew very little Japanese making it hard to communicate with some. For most of the pros out there they have learned enough English to be very easy to communicate with. And they know how to show us a great time. Many thanks to Jiro, Ba Ba, Hiro, Soichiro, Shimpei, Mika, Chiaki, and Takeshi.
Other thanks go out to bladers, AmPm, noodles, vending machines, digital cameras, daggers, capsule hotels, belt-shorts, bullet trains, bad high-heel walking, public baths, and fingerless Japanese Mafia members. I love Japan. More pics check out my album.