02 January, 2012

Day 7: Concordia Takes on the SEIBU Princess Rabbits

Konichiwa, 


I can't believe we've been here for a week already. Time is truly flying by. We only have three more full days in Tokyo and in Japan. I'm just watching CNN in my room before a few girls go exploring in the area around our hotel. The big discussion on the TV right now is yesterday's earthquake. 


We walked around after our Italian dinner last night and found some great places nearby, including a shrine. Thankfully I had my picture camera with me, but I really want to go back and use my video camera over there. The area around our hotel is very vibrant. It’s almost like Times Square on steroids and rather than being a couple of blocks long, it’s like that on every single street. For a culture that is generally rather reserved, there is no shortage of bright lights and noise here. I was told that if Tokyo turned off it’s electricity for 24 hours it could power the rest of the country for a month. 


We spent the morning walking around this area, touring and shopping. We split up into smaller groups rather than traveling as a group of 28 so it’s easier to accommodate everyone's tastes and to allow people to sleep in a bit more if they wanted to. After this, we got dressed in our finest, which we brought to Tokyo, and had a reception with the SEIBU Princess Rabbits, our opposing team for the next three days. This was quite a treat. The beginning of the reception was marked by a speech by the vice-president of the Japanese Ice Hockey Federation and each coach introduced all their players and staff.  We then eat together and mingled with the other team. A few girls from the team had graciously volunteered their time tomorrow to show us around Tokyo so we discussed what we wanted to see. We then watched a video from each team and had some fruits and desserts before taking a group picture. This was a shining example of the Japanese culture. This team had hosted us to a lovely lunch on the top of a Tokyo hotel before a game. We are met with smiles wherever we go and people seem to accommodate us to the best of their abilities despite a language barrier. One example of this is was when I met a gentleman in the hotel hallway. He works at the hotel and I asked him if he could show me how to make our room cooler since we face the sun and it’s a sauna in their right now. In broken English he tells me he can't show me but asks my room number. I give it to him and return to my room to try and figure it out on my own. 45 seconds after I get in there's a knock on the door and he shows up with a fan to cool off the room. "The culture here is so refreshing", to quote one our players, Laurie Proulx-Duperre. 


The first game against the SEIBU Princess Rabbits ended in a 2-2 tie. The Stingers were able to rectify some of the errors that were made in previous games. Despite directing more shots at the net and generating  more offense on power plays, we ran into a hot goalie who kept her team in the game. The caliber of play in Tokyo is very similar to the National Team in Tomokomai. Tomorrow's rematch will be very exciting as some physical play was generated in the first game. Hopefully it will flow over into tomorrow's rematch. 


Tonight we were on our own for dinner. We split up into smaller groups and wandered around Tokyo. My group ended up at a Japanese restaurant where you cook the food on your table. It was delicious. 


Time for bed! Tomorrow is game day!

 

With Stinger Pride,

Shell 

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 8

Day 9

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