Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Good Bye Japan, Thank You for the Running and the Memories

After what felt like a lifetime for some of us (not me I should add), we sailed from Yokosuka for the second time. The first time was due to be scared of a little Typhoon which didn't come near the port in the end, and this time it was because we had some business to do in Tokyo. 

It's weird putting the word business with my job in Navy, but that is what exactly it was....business. From cocktail parties or as they're known now Capability Demonstrations, ship open to visitors (where we had over 6000 visitors between the two days)  and Defence Industry Day, it was all go. The area we were berthed was where the new Olympic Village and park will be for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was busy with construction as we were there with new transport structure going in as well as all the various buildings that is required for the games. I have no doubt that Tokyo will nail it. 

                          We had company of a Japanese ship in front of us.                           
However I still managed to get out and about to revisit some of the places I spent two weeks with my wife and son earlier in July. There is something about the Land of the Rising Sun, that I fell in love with. Was it the people? The country? The culture? I can't really put my finger on it but it doesn't matter to be honest. Yes I was constantly drenched in sweat due to the temperature and humidity but that didn't matter, I was sort of used to having 4 showers a day lol

Life isn't always about running for me, but it is about making memories. The 2nd night in, I went out with people from my mess and had a really good blow out. I don't make a habit of getting smashed but I do like the odd one here and there and as one of the lads was leaving us, it seemed a good reason to go get drunk. I paid for it the next morning for sure and I had to go for a bimble in the scorching sun to get some food to help with the recovery. 

Out Out in Tokyo
Kelly, a friend from work asked me if I fancied going for a run around the Imperial Palace, of course I said yes. I never turn down an offer of going for a run with someone (unless I really have to). So we got up early the morning of the run, caught the metro to the area (after an initial bus journey) where were going to run around. We could've run there but time constraints of work and the factor of  the heat we didn't want to knacker ourselves out before we even go there, we decided not to. It was a pretty simple journey, as we had Pasmo cards (much like Oyster Cards in London) so we just tapped and went. 

When we arrived we went for our run. Sadly the inside of the palace and gardens was closed. They're not open on Monday's and Friday's so we didn't get to go inside but we went for a lap around the palace it's self. Not knowing how far around it was and taking into account of the heat/humidity we went at a nice slow comfortable pace, pausing to take pics of stuff we saw as we went round. 
Hot and Sweaty!
There was plenty of runners running around the palace like us, only they were going in the opposite direction. Not sure why this way, I've not seen anything suggesting otherwise and luckily there was another runner going the same direction we were so not too worried but the majority ran anti clockwise. 

The lap start off flat from where we started, but after 2 miles around there was a long incline and then it bobbled up and down. At one point there were a load of people with lots of tv equipment, etc. We went for a gander to see what they were up to but couldn't make out what they were doing, some of them were looking up a tree with a big Nerf gun in their hands. 

Great to have company
Any way we eventually made our way round and finished on a downwards incline to where we started. It was 32 degrees and stupidly humid so were both soaked. Temperatures were hitting later in the day anywhere between 35 and 45 degrees. We both brought a change of tops for the wearing on the Metro on the way back as it was going to be busy. Although the change of tops made little difference as they were soon enough soaked with sweat anyway LOL.

As we were looking for getting a drink somewhere near us prior to heading back we walked past a shop type thing called the Run Pit. Wasn't sure what it was at the time, all I could see what looked like a reception desk,and some items for sale. What it turned out to be was a community hotspot for runners. There were changing rooms, showers, cafe, shop, the works. They had run leaders and groups. It's no wonder that the palace was so popular for runners. What a great idea, for city runners. So if you're ever in the area, check out the Run Pit. 

The Imperial Palace is a beautiful thing to visit even just for a run
Eventually we made our way back to ship, for a bit work before heading back out for some more sight seeing tourist stuff. Sadly though we had to sail the next day due to another possible Typhoon that might or might not hit Tokyo. Pretty much like last time, it didn't really do anything. Hey Ho! 

Japan has been really good time for me, I really enjoyed myself there. The culture, the people, the weirdness of the whole place was really good. I'm so glad I was able to spend time here with my wife and boy, so they could experience something I get to experience with work. Now with over 3 months to go I am though getting ready to come home. The next part of the deployment is going to be hard. I will definitely be using my running to help me cope. 

Until I get home, I will just keep running and continue with planning my next big adventure run! 

Thank you for the continuing support, it is appreciated. If you haven't already here are a few links for you. 

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As always thank you to Tailwind Nutrition UK for their continued support of me, it's great being part of the Tailwind Trailblazer Team

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Tailwind does Japan


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