Monday, October 1, 2007

Go Fuuuuuk-yu-i!!

There's a reason that Nagano was selected to host the Winter Olympics back in 1998: it's always winter there. Or so it would seem after passing a weekend in ice-cold rain while playing soccer.

My fellow Fukui JETs and I left the sunshine and warm temperatures of our fair prefecture to participate in a soggy All-Japan JET Soccer Tournament this weekend in Nagano, a mere 5-hour, 7,000-yen (yes, that's $70 in tolls - one way) car ride from Fukui City. It rained - at times, poured - the entire weekend. And Nagano's location in the "Japanese Alps" meant that rain was darn cold.

But we had fun anyway. Our men's and women's teams were true motley crews. Some had played soccer all through their formative years, while others - the author included - thought that a soccer game involved three-point shots and seventh-inning stretches. The women's team only managed to score one actual goal through the five games we played in the tournament. (Yet we still somehow finished 8th out of 12 teams. Who knows?)

Peronally, my lack of soccer skills was compounded by the fact that the largest shin guards I could find were made for Japanese women and, as such, covered about half of my actual shin. I have bruises on the other half to prove it.

But what we lacked in athletic prowess we made up for in team spirit. We battled through the rain, mud and freezing temperatures with matching red fingernails and creative cheers from the sidelines. And when we were done, we got to enjoy onsen (hot tubs), almost-victory beers and an All-Japan JET after-party in our hotel. Worth every last kick to the shins.

Here's how it went down:

Hotel & Food: 17,600 円
Expressway Tolls: 13,350 円
Post-Game Beers: 1,200 円

Being able to scream "Fuuuuk-yu, Fuuuuk-yu, Fuuuuuk-yu-i" at the top of our lungs: PRICELESS

1 comment:

Son of Higashi said...

All Japan JET Soccer Tournament? So who was there representing 沖縄? I think we might have been too busy snorkeling. =P

Two months already, isn't that crazy?