Bridge Near Troubled Waters.
I got back from my weekend-long Bridge Tournament in 白石市 (Shiroishi) and I'm happy to say that I won big. Okay, I came fifth (out of 18) on the first match and then got paired up with my usual partner. He's an average player but occasionally forgets conventions leading us into defeat. I got tons of praise for my playing by several opponents but we scored between 10th & 15th on later games. So how did I come out a big winner? I won 1000 yen worth of gift certificates redeemable in any book store. Woohoo!
As for the hotel itself, Katsura, it's set off in the sticks cosily surrounded by mountains and a babbling brook. Somewhat rustic, the modern conveniences are not quite modern but it was still a nice place to visit (until next year's Tournament, that is.) The food was terrific with so much healthy eats, my body can't take all that nutrition! While everyone took another dip in the Onsen on Saturday night, I went for a walk and star-gazed. I could only see a fraction of the sky due to the mountains, but what I saw was glorious. It was a lovely brisk evening and I could view Orion in all its grandeur. My colleagues all thought I was nuts going outside in the cold, but you can only prune yourself in warm
waters so often.
Other than the gift certificates, I managed to pilfer some Yuzu tea (I'll have to dip some of my Yuzu KitKats in it!)
So how did I spend my big winnings, I bought a Manga that came with a free "ああっ女神さまっ or Oh, My Goddess" figure and was a little disappointed. The manga is your typical 945-page monstrosity but the 92 pg Zombie Men series is only mediocre though I have yet to peruse it fully.
And, hey, I chatted up one of the few people in the place younger than myself and may actually have a Bridge partner if I ever play in Tokyo!