The First thing you feel is that you're woefully unprepared. For everything. All of it.
After returning from Scotland and the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, (-seeing 31 plays in 7 days- don't ask-) you spend a couple of days in your own bed and then head for the airport to get to Boston where you rehearse and perform Richard Nelson's How Shakespeare Won The West at The Huntington Theatre playing a host of characters including Abe Lincoln, Buffalo Bill and George Edgar Rice. You have a ball, join the Boston Community Boating Club, get your "Helmsman" rating and sail everyday on the Charles River. You close that show, come back to San Francisco and try to prepare for your testing in Japan for your 2nd Dan in Iaido. Your Sensei, Andrej Diamantsein, gives you the go ahead and you book a flight to Tokyo.
After 11 cramped hours on a plane you stagger into Narita train station and are confronted with the above map. You try to save money by taking the commuter train into town. After 3 hours of jostling with salarymen and school kids and septuagenarians with all your luggage and a sword case, you find your spartan ryokan in North Asakusa. You sleep.
The next day you get up and take pictures of circles.
You blog a little.
You try to rest in the afternoon but its no use. You're too excited. Tonight you have practice at Esaka Dojo with Sensei Seigan Esaka himself, the man considered the number one practitioner in traditional Japanese swordsmanship on Earth.
The Ichi Ban.
And he'll be watching you.
And now we're up to date.