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Ticket in hand, sharpened skates, sticks ready and a heart wide open. It’s a fresh reunion of the Friendship League.  Embarking on a brand new adventure, it’s all about the thrill of diving into the unique and indescribable Japanese culture.

 Suddenly, the airport is buzzing with oversized bags, long sticks and different languages. Different faces, unfamiliar words, handshakes, hugs, kisses from both cheeks. Tokyo airport is witnessing the beginning of the tour of Japan’s subways and the emblematic streets of one of the most impressive cities in the world.

 For 10 days, people from different parts of the world experienced this amazing culture: We played hockey with local teams and alongside them, we explored unique places, we tried typical food and we immersed ourselves in this incredible culture.

ICE HOCKEY + GREAT FOOD + SHOCKING TOURISM

The practices were incredible: Connecting on the rink with people who share the love for this sport is beyond words: The Tokyo Canadians, The Freeblades, the JINXS and seeing the Yokohama Grits playing and also sharing moments with them.

On the rink we had to overcome new challenges of understanding ourselves as a great team, playing in dimensions we weren’t all used to and being amazed at every moment by the magnitude of the stadium. The most beautiful moments: The preparation, the warm-up, the laughter on the bench, the support of those who cheer from the sidelines, the personal questions even in the middle of the game to continue getting to know each other, and without a doubt: the postgame.

THE GASTRONOMIC EXPERIENCE IN JAPAN AND SOMETHING MORE…

Is there a better plan than finishing the practice in some tiny bar on the streets of Tokyo? Maybe walk around an endless local market with fresh foods and options you didn’t even know existed? Shibuya, Shinjuku, Hachinohe, Kyoto, Osaka: Just some of the places that led us to taste unusual flavors. The tables at each banquet repeated scenes that had become routine: “What is this? Is this spicy?” Do we eat this part? “Shall we try a little of everything?” and reactions that would only make us laugh and remember how much we are looking forward to tasting fresh fish again, the best sushi and countless special dishes once again.

But it wasn’t just the food that caught our attention. Japan has a detail that will make us talk about it forever: THE TOILETS. It was usual; Going to the toilet could take us hours. And not for the reason you think; It was just amazing. Thousands of buttons, multiple functions, a lot of technology. No doubt, a new experience, a true adventure.

The Ice Hockey Experience in Japan was intense and beautiful. We’re sure: Nothing of what we expected was missing, but experiences that we could not imagine living were added: Snowfall in Hachinohe, missing our bullet train for a few seconds, living the experience of public transportation, nightly exposure to the immense illuminated billboards that also have multiple sounds, long walks in incredible temples, visiting the Sake Museum, the Samurai Museum, the Sumo match, driving go-karts with our own gear throughout Tokyo, dining and singing karaoke on a sailboat at night and so much more. But of course, nothing is possible without the kindness and warmth of each local player and each person who in one way or another hosted us in this incredible culture.

 We can not wait to repeat this destination that has only given us good times. Thanks Japan Ice Hockey Experience and everyone who joined in on this awesome adventure!

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