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ManInJapan

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Reply with quote  #1 
If you ever find yourself in the Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe area of Japan and want to take a break from temple visits and check out a Japanese skate park, drop me a line and lets meet up at "g" skatepark.

[home89e696ca08]  http://www.goodskates.com

It is a family run business that has been in operation for 30 years in Kobe. Skateboards, inline skates, and bikes are welcome, though the first two are the usual there. A big section is covered (seen in the photo) but it is all open and there is a large outside area as well. There is a bunch of small miniramps, a shallow half-bowl (in the photo) and a deeper closed bowl, and a big half-pipe, something not easily found in Japan. There are smaller places here and there around the country, but I have learned that this is one of the biggest parks and people will drive a couple of hours to get here. It is crowded on the weekends, but weekdays and evening are nice. Most folks are on popsicle sticks but there are definitely some older guys that occasionally hang out at the half-bowl riding old school decks. 

It was amazing how quickly my 11-year old daughter and I felt welcomed and part of a community. I have never felt anything but good vibes and the other skaters are supportive, polite, and quick to give helpful advice. It is very family friendly and my daughter has made a lot of friends. Girl-power is well-represented too! The skaters are mostly Japanese, but there is the occasional ex-pat from various corners of the world. The hold competitions, concerts and other events there. This weekend there will be some traditional end of the year mochi-pounding:

[image]   

There is plenty of cool artwork all over the park done by local artists too!

[moto2-031] 

Come check it out!

Greg

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70sSkater

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Reply with quote  #2 
That looks nice.  ISLANDSK8R was our resident ex-pat living in Japan, but he hasn't posted here in a long time.  He was still actively skating on his own and with his kids in Okinawa last we knew.

I have a good friend from college who played professional baseball in Kobe for two seasons in the early 90s.  He liked it for a while, but he was happy to come home when it was over.  

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ManInJapan

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Reply with quote  #3 
The skate park is on a manmade island which is a popular place for many ex-pats to live because it is a bit more planned and away from the hustle and bustle of more urban areas. I have seen quite a few of the foreign ball players based in the area there and would bet it was where your friend lived. Life in Japan is pretty nuts in general, I can't imagine what it's like for one of the foreign ball players who must carry a certain level of celebrity and are immediately recognizable. I would guess he has a few stories to share.
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70sSkater

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, he had stories.  It's just a very different culture, as you know.  As a guy from middle America, he had a hard time adjusting to their customs.

A friend of mine who did some modeling went to Japan in the late 80s.  She is blonde and, at that time, they didn't see many blonde headed people in Japan.  She said some people would just reach out and touch her hair as she was walking down the sidewalk.  Kind of strange. 

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ManInJapan

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70sSkater
Yes, he had stories.  It's just a very different culture, as you know.  As a guy from middle America, he had a hard time adjusting to their customs.


Yep, I have been here 20 years and not even come close to assimilating. The culture is strong and based on an impossibly complex set of rules. Foreigners generally get a pass, but even if you get a good handle on the language and the customs, you are still usually an outsider. Not complaints, just observations. I do really enjoy living here; there are a lot of amazing things to do and see, and the convenience, service and civility are unparalleled. Tons of stuff I miss from home, but if I ever moved back, it would be the same for all the things I would miss about Japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 70sSkater
A friend of mine who did some modeling went to Japan in the late 80s.  She is blonde and, at that time, they didn't see many blonde headed people in Japan.  She said some people would just reach out and touch her hair as she was walking down the sidewalk.  Kind of strange. 


My friends daughter is as blonde as can be and she gets really fed up at all the attention she gets at school. It is innocent curiosity, but being on the receiving end is exhausting. The population is like 98% Japanese. When you stick out, you really stick out!

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"We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars." - Carl Sagan
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