Travel, Travel Journal

Field Archery in the Mountains

Hello everyone! I have never been this excited to flip this laptop open and share with you guys the most exciting thing we’ve ever done so far this year. I finally went full Katniss Everdeen shooting arrows inside the mountain in Gunma!

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I was part of our High school archery team in Marikina, competing with other teams within NCR. It was 2008 since I last held a bow and arrow but last weekend took me back in those days. Only this time, it was even more difficult because I had to shoot an arrow at different angles! I’ve only done target archery on a flat field with distances between 30m to 50m.

 

Shoutout to everyone who’s been part of Sta. Elena high school archery club! “Once an archer, always an archer!”

It was surprising I could still pull the string, let alone sight the target or even have arrows land on gold! However, the maximum range we did was the 40m downhill with the target on an open field. I only got 1 arrow in out of 3 but even that was a miss! We had to come closer to 25m and get some points on our scorecard.

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This was already the easiest 40m target because it’s on an open field. The rest were in-between trees or at least on a  more difficult angle.

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K was surprisingly good for his first time, with a bare bow! In fact, I have to commend our coach, Mr. Kimura! He helped us during practice as well as during our 9-course game in the mountain. It was initially 12-course but we skipped three because we were too tired! You had to hike up and down between courses and not to mention retrieving your arrows. In total, they have 24 courses ranging from 5m to 90m with a wide variety of angles.

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I have to mention that doing this activity during summer is not the best time but it did add to the Hunger Games experience I’ve imagined in the books. This terrain was wild, WILD as in, we were hiking with tall grass, steep downhill, and gigantic flies! One landed on my shoulder, the size of my thumb and I felt it bite thru clothing. Thankfully I am still alive. I was a little scared when Mr. Kimura told us during our hike to another course, that the path we’re taking, bore the signs of wild boar nearby… I don’t know if Pumba was friendly in person. That my friend is a joke, a warthog is a bit different from a wild boar.

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I got the highest score between us since K’s using a bare bow on his first time while I’m using an all-too-familiar bow.

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The best thing about this Archery Field in Gunma is that you can rent the equipment so you don’t have to buy your own Bow and Arrow which is, quite frankly, uneconomical.

After that, we unexpectedly met Japan’s athletes for the World Field Archery competition to be held in Italy this September! They were friendly and kind enough to have a picture with me 🙂

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Mr. Takaya Sakamoto and Ms. Nami Fukusawa (from left) are both playing this September for the World Field Archery Championship in Italy. 頑張れ日本!(ganbare nippon!)

In total, we paid 8,000 yen which includes the equipment for the two of us already. Renting is more economical than buying your own unless you have plans to enter a competition regularly. I also have to mention that, although Mr. Kimura can communicate a bit in English, it’ll be hard to make a reservation via telephone. They do have a website but they don’t have it in English. They also do not accept credit cards, only cash.

Gunma is a day trip away from Tokyo but K was too tired to drive and we’re in dire need of a cold shower! We stayed at Annaka’s Hotel Route Inn, a decent business hotel I must say.

The next day, we decided to visit the Dai-Kannon because it’s hard to miss it. You can see it the moment you’re anywhere near Takasaki, Gunma. It’s like the Bronze Daibutsu Buddha in Kuruma, Kanagawa except it’s a lot higher. It’s a nice observatory after climbing 146 steps inside the statue.

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41.8m tall statue of Goddess of Mercy of the Shingon Buddhist Temple

We would’ve done more sightseeing if only it wasn’t scorching hot outside.

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This day, according to the weather forecast, Gunma was the hottest place in Japan.

Anyway, we’re both determined to go back there with friends during the fall, winter, and spring.

That’s it for today’s blog post. Look forward to my next post by subscribing and leave a comment while you’re at it.

Have a beautiful day!

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