Japan Tour 2013 by Anita
Bridge with Beauchamp’s first tour to Japan was a resounding success!
29 travellers from all over Australia (Launceston, Alice, Darwin, Sanctuary Cove, Perth, Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Tamworth and the Central Coast) spent 10 days in Tokyo, Hakone (Mt Fuji), Kyoto and Hiroshima. Days were spent sightseeing with Anita at the helm. David ran some late afternoon bridge workshops while evenings were devoted to duplicates.
Whenever travelling, the group was subdivided into Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. Bridge players thrive on competition and soon the groups were vying to produce the best chant, demonstrated on Japanese subways and outside supermarkets. Spades even went to the extent of making a badge and wearing it wherever they went!
A plastic pink deer from Nara was adopted as the mascot of the group. To the amusement of the locals, it was paraded through towns and train stations with 28 Aussies following behind.
There were endless opportunities to take photos of traditional Japanese gardens, temples and castles. No one could fail to be moved by the Peace Museum in Hiroshima, dedicated to the elimination of nuclear arms. Japanese department stores and shopping were popular and some people even took time out from bridge in Kyoto to attend a show demonstrating traditional Japanese arts such as flower arranging, dance, koto (instrument), puppets, kabuki etc.
Highlights included a night in a traditional Japanese inn with incredible food and piping hot springs; hospitality and bridge at the Yotsuya Bridge Club in Tokyo; luscious Japanese pancakes in Hiroshima made right in front of us; travelling on the famous bullet trains (how DO they get everything to run on time?); an earthquake on Marlene’s birthday; a deer eating Anita’s notes; the beautiful island of Miyajima with views from the top of the mountain and the orange torii (shrine) gate surrounded by water and last but not least, great merriment playing bridge together and new friendships made.
We were all delighted with the kindness shown to us by Japanese passers-by, who went out of their way to guide and befriend us. Our thanks also go to the Yotsuya Bridge Club and especially Tadayoshi Nakatani for organising a special night of bridge and allowing us to use their bridge tables on our travels.
Please look at our Gallery for more photos from our first trip!