14JGPJPN-EllieAlex-2Konnichiwa!   It’s the end of Day 2 for us (Thursday) and it was a day to become familiar with our surroundings, draw for our Short Dance skate order and practice on the competition surface.  In other words, today we left the nest, spread our wings, and started to explore the world around us! 

Alex had a great night of sleep, due to the logistical advice given to him by a friend who has already competed in Japan, and he is currently not feeling any effects of jet lag — doh-moh ah-ree-GAH-toh [thank you!].  Ellie on the hand, struggled to link together enough hours of sleep to reset her internal body clock, so she relied on sheer determination to get through the day successfully.

We each learned something interesting today — Alex discovered how delicious the fresh pineapple and melon is at the competitors’ hotel (that was the obligatory food blog comment, we’ll try to limit those in the future!), and Ellie discovered that there are a bunch of super cool cars in Japan that are NOT considered legal in the US (this info was shared by “Vin Diesel” (Alex) and “Lucas Black” (Michael Parsons) on our evening walk through the Sakae area).

All kidding aside, we started to actually experience some of the awesomeness of this area and the people that are around us.  The rink is about 45 minutes outside of our hotel and Nagoya.  It is on the site of Aichi Expo 2005, which was the location of the World’s Fair for that year.  Many of the buildings and displays from the Expo are gone, but what remains is a huge and beautiful park – and an impressive rink!  What was unexpected about the competition venue is that the figure skating rink is literally ringed by a speed skating oval, plus there is a pool with a gazillion slides, connected to the side of the arena.   Today’s picture shows us on the upper level of the rink, and you can see the speed skating oval below us, partially covered by a blue mat.

practice went well, especially as we were dealing with the effects of jet lag (Ellie) and time away from the ice (Alex).  However, while we were in the arena, we were treated to a symphony of sound from the thunder that was surrounding the area.  All skaters know the noise of thunder and lightning from inside of a typical rink, but the combination of this storm and this rink’s construction made for a very memorable event in terms of how crazy loud it was. 

We finished the day with a sightseeing walk, alongside Team USA dancers Rachel & Michael Parsons.  The architecture and mix of colors in the city is vibrant.  We visited the Oasis 21 complex, which looks like a giant spaceship has landed in the middle of the city.  The glass and metal structure reminded Alex a little of the Beijing Olympic’s Bird’s Nest, and the upper level of it provided the perfect view of the Nagoya TV Tower.  For any IDC readers who also happen to be Japanese film buffs, you’ll recognize the tower as the backdrop for many of Mothra’s battle scenes against Godzilla!


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It’s time for bed!  DOH-zo [please] check back in to IDC tomorrow, to read our next blog.

~ Ellie and Alex