My name is Klara and I am a man who is currently looking for an idea for himself (and for his doctorate), because I grabbed my life by the horns and against my reason I decided to leave for three months to the other end of the worldrather than throw yourself into the whirl of normality. In addition, I deal with everything that is worth talking about in a dozen or so - dozens of years sitting at a beer. So I try many things, I experiment, I grab the moment ...
In search of masters
My last journey took me really far and for a long time - I spent (although the moment I write this, I have before me the last two weeks here) three months in Japan. A place that I did not even dream about, and not because it was beyond my possibilities, but this direction did not interest me before. If I could choose, it would probably take me to the wilderness of Estonia or Slovenia, but by chance I found myself at the other end of the world. In the very center of one of the largest cities of the blossoming cherry.
What's even more interesting, there is only one reason why I decided to take such a radical step - and these are neither Japanese delicacies nor known and popular anime, or even corners of the largest cities. They are him martial arts, especially the exceptionally niche ones, even in the country of origin: jūkendō and tankendo. On my way I met amazing people whose aim is to promote just these two pieces, hence my extraordinary opportunity to come here and learn from a real master. So a bit like old hits like Karate Kid :)
In itself, this is an extraordinary adventure, an opportunity for one in several million. And although I did not have to run after a thousand steps to the temple at the top of the mountain, or to balance the river with a bamboo pole, learning the secrets of the Japanese bayonet fight, I think as something that I would not dream about even in the most crazy dreams.
Thanks to this I had the opportunity to meet many people who would not normally exchange words with me, mainly due to the language and culture barrier. For example, older ladies, some of whom are certainly grandmothers, using a whole range of weapons (from daggers to halberds) in a graceful, but also somewhat dangerous manner. Spending time in this way, far from typical tourist, opens many doors - for three months you live in a local rhythm, completely different from what I knew so far.
The paths of Japan
As for the adventures themselves, the whole trip is one great adventure, which is hard to summarize. However, during several trips to the more well-known corners of Japan, I was lucky that I was always able to find a lonely, empty path, usually led by extremely atmospheric and simply beautiful places. Like the rocky and steep trails of the Inari and Kinka mountains, where it is normally difficult to walk a few steps without bumping into other visitors.
Japan is also a country of absurd even contrasts, the only place where you can try freshly caught seventy kilo tuna, flee from a hundred intrusive fallow deer, and then get lost at a huge intersection, or deaf in the premises of pachinko.
What are travels for me?
It may be surprising, but I am not a traveler - I travel mainly locally, I love to explore the wild and beautiful corners of my region. Places where it is unlikely to meet tourists and anyone. Travels have recently found me alone, including my journey of life, in which I was bravely accompanied by a Wroclaw backpack. During my travels, I feel a strong need to find where I can feel the true nature of a place, contact with nature, the unblemished presence of a human being. Although the monuments undeniably make an impression on me, however I prefer foggy mountain peaks or forest backwoods than concrete jungleseven if I do not know how famous.
The most beautiful one on the trip is ...
The most I love in them is the moment in which I stop, look around and feel like throwing a good old Polish "o, k..wa", because the view is breathtaking and even if I spoke with the most nimble language, it would be nothing like a clash with the beauty of nature 🙂
Some chase after attractions and places where you have to be found, and I have a need to contact with unblemished nature. Then I feel how much dust in the wind is a man, how closely he is connected with the world around him and how valuable is the place where we live. When traveling, I do not need much, all inclusive is space, silence, wind noise.
However, it is not always we who choose traveling, as long as they find me - and teach me humility, understanding, open mind - but also that giving up crazy ideas is the biggest mistake you can make.
Grunwald backpack in Japan
The backpack joined me as the last member of the expedition - he came by train straight from Wroclaw throughout the whole country, to Białystok in the late afternoon before departure. Grunwaldzki, because this bridge was accompanying me - my beloved Wrocław bridge in the city I come from. He was supposed to play the role of a daily travel companion, small and large 😉
Ideally suited as hand luggage on the plane - perfectly fit in it all electronics, including the laptop, and all the things that are good to have with you. For all the remaining time he accompanied me in everyday training, So it became one of the few backpacks in the world in which various items were worn, from kodachi, short weapon used in tankendo and kendo, to our local Żubrówka, in the form of omiyage.
For this has a lot of useful pockets, the smallest side has been great as a city card box, and in the middle you can safely hide documents or money. In addition, thanks to the top that can be rolled, it has very flexible dimensions, and the rectangular shape looks pugnacious. It certainly attracts attention, and many people are interested in its history. I must admit that I am proud of having something extraordinary, Polish and related to Wrocław - and at the same time practical and simply pretty.
He accompanied me during trips to very tourist places like Kyoto or Tokyo, trainings in smaller cities like Gifu or Itami, as well as during trips to the Max Valu grocery store (original spelling).
He survived and typhoons and heat, huge martial arts competitions in Nippon Budokan, bicycle rides through the crowded streets of Nagoya and comfortable journeys by shinkansen, a super-fast train.
The decision made at the last moment turned out to be salutary, because it was not yet day that he would not take me to an Asian street.
This is the first of a series of amazing stories that we want to inspire you to take a backpack into the world and look for yourself, your dreams and goals 🙂
I have heard that traveling is educating, but for us what is more important is what we want to get out of them. Find the answer to a life dilemma, take courage, or get to know your new masters? Know yourself, your options, and maybe other people and their different look?
There are millions of things that we can ask the world for. Just go.
With huge thanks to Klara Iwaszko - Jukendoit!
For those who are interested in more of Klara's stories from travel to Japan, we invite you to https://jukendo.world/pl/author/jukendoit/