Destinations Magazine

The Day I Rescinded My Application to Any Japanese Gameshow

By Jugglingtam

Even the busiest, self-loathing businessman needs a break from the monotony of Tokyo life. And so do I. In the midst of Spring semester, a semester with virtually no vacations until the suffocating days of late July, I find myself suffering from a not-so-unique case of senioritis, mixed in with a little sleep deprivation, stirred in with a little gluttony, and topped off with about 50 glasses of wine in two-day spans. Don’t get me wrong… I love my job, adore my students, and treasure the fact that I can say that I’m eternally on the move. But goddamn, sometimes I just want to scream, and laugh, and push myself into murky ponds full of amoeba. Thus the Japanese obstacle course

I discovered Shimizu kouen whilst in search of a friend’s recommendation to another obstacle course of sorts in Yokohama. She had me at “jumping across water structures but most of the time just falling in.” Ding ding ding! Figuring myself in for a smashingly good time, my companion and I set out for Northern Chiba on a fine Sunday afternoon for what is dubbed as “the largest obstacle course in Japan” with over 100 obstacles. Otherwise known as fuiirudo asurechikkusu in Japanese, these courses are a type of outdoors activity that would serve no legal purpose in the good ‘ol US of A (though the courses do meet basic safety requirements). They are situated all throughout Japan, I suppose as a way to combat obesity and prepare future game showers for Most Extreme Elimination Challenge or Wipe Out. Or concussions.

The day I rescinded my application to any Japanese gameshow
The day I rescinded my application to any Japanese gameshow

The day I rescinded my application to any Japanese gameshow
The day I rescinded my application to any Japanese gameshow

Upon arrival at beautiful Shimizu kouen station, I was first struck senseless by the senseless number of children. Go figure the little bastards would be in my way

Then again, the occasional brave parent and unconventional couple broke up the lines of infants… infants who, coincidentally, moved a lot slower than even my old ass is accustomed to. After renting obnoxiously tight shoes (an absolute must) and donning our miniature numbered bibs, we made a beeline for the recommended course out of the three offered: the water course, a course with 20 obstacles, most of which are suspended over a frigid lake of brown scum. For the next hour, we swung, jumped across unstable rafts, and found ourselves in awkward positions with ropes… and then there was me. While a normal person might want to avoid the frigid brown lake of scum, I really had no choice. Blessed with undeveloped arm muscles, I found myself submerged, count ‘em, FOUR TIMES after failing to hold on to a rope. That’s right, unlike the kids who accidentally fell in the lake on purpose, I fell in because I am a pathetic foolio. All out of good fun of course. Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure:

Today, as I write with skinned palms, bruised arms, and an aching abdomen (how in the hell?!), I reflect on what was a damn fine day. I realize that I am still in tune with my inner child, a child that cannot hold on to a rope for more than 2 seconds. Go ahead, Tarzan, see if you got what it takes.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog