Thursday June 29th
This was a real transition day. We were up early for Doshu's class. I trained with Bob Noha and Lou Bermingham and had a wonderful time. We hurried back to the hotel to shower, get luggage, and check out. We taxied to Shinjuku Starbucks to see Nadeau sensei. From Tokyo station we went all the way to Osaka on the shinkansen(bullet train). From Osaka we took the train to Tanabe, the place of Osensei's birth. We got of the train at Tanabe and were greeted by the sight of Anno sensei's smiling face. Sugawa sensei from Hongu(the site of the Grand Shrine in the mountains North of Shingu) brought a large van to help us with luggage. This was a real life saver! We had dinner at a restaurant near the station. We then arrived at Kanpo no Yado, an inn recommended by Anno sensei. The highlight of the evening and maybe the entire trip was hanging out in the onsen(mineral bath) with Anno sensei, asking him questions about aikido. Again, Laurin's translation skills were highly appreciated. More about the conversations in future blogs.