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Showing posts from August, 2014

Kawauchi Gets Fifth Course Record of Year in Perth

Post by Chevron City to Surf for Activ.
by Brett Larner

In his last marathon before focusing his energies on the Oct. 3 Incheon Games Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returned to Australia for the Aug. 31 Perth City to Surf Marathon.  Much of the race went by with a pack of four featuring Kawauchi, fellow 2:08 man Samuel Woldeamanuel Gebremichael (Ethiopia), course record holder Luka Chelimo (Kenya) and his countryman Simon Kirui (Kenya) up front.  Gebremichael, who lost out to Kawauchi at July's Gold Coast Airport Marathon, was the first casualty.  A move by Chelimo around 29 km looked like it might add Kawauchi to the casualty list as Chelimo and Kirui pulled around 100 m ahead, but as per his usual pattern Kawauchi came back aggressively in the final 5 km to pass both Kenyans.  Crossing the line in 2:12:55 he took 21 seconds off the record Chelimo set at last year's race, his fifth marathon course record win in eight starts so far this year.  Joan Rotich (Ke…

Nojiri and Tsuji Win Hokkaido Marathon

by Brett Larner

Taking on increased importance as the Japanese Federation focuses on hot weather racing in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men's and women's marathons, the Hokkaido Marathon featured one of its deepest men's fields in memory.  The women's field was smaller but featured at least three good up-and-coming talents.  Getting the better of them all in the mid-20s temperatures was former pro-XC skier and mountain running champion Azusa Nojiri (Hiratsuka Lease), a 2:24:57 marathoner while at the Sachiko Yamashita-coached Daiichi Seimei corporate team but mostly unsuccessful since leaving to follow an Arata Fujiwara-inspired route of independent sponsorship.  In Hokkaido Nojiri easily dropped the rest of the field to win in 2:30:26, a quality mark in a typically hot race that rarely sees sub-2:30 winning times.  Debuting runner-up Shoko Mori (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) was nearly five minutes back in 2:35:10, just beating pre-race favorite Yuka Yano (Canon AC K…

Sakai and Yano Lead Sunday's Hokkaido Marathon

by Brett Larner

The fall elite marathon season gets underway this Sunday with Sapporo's Hokkaido Marathon.  Two years organizers did away with their elite fields, leaving top amateurs Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yuri Yoshizumi (Osaka Nagai AC) to win in two of the slowest winning times in event history.  Last year the elite fields returned with a small international contingent that proved mostly superfluous as Japanese runners swept the podium in both the men's and women's race.  Organizers have trimmed the fat this year to focus on a good domestic field that on paper any other country outside Africa would have a tough time matching.

Leading the men's field is the 4th-fastest Japanese man of the year, Masanori Sakai (Team Kyudenko), who ran 2:09:10 in Tokyo in February.  Named to the federation's new marathon National Team program on the strength of that performance, with Hokkaido's always-hot conditions Sakai will be the first guinea pig in the…

Kawauchi Looking for the Win in Asian Games Dry Run at Perth Marathon

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/08/29/kiji/K20140829008829260.html

translated by Brett Larner

Incheon Asian Games men's marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) left from Narita Airport to for Perth, Australia where he will run the Aug. 31 City to Surf Marathon.  Due to a significant delay to his scheduled flight leaving Japan Kawauchi was not going to be able make his connecting flight in Australia, but it was no problem to reroute his booking to take a connecting flight on another airline.  Excited for his final full marathon before Incheon, Kawauchi said, "If I win it'll be a good dry run for the Asian Games."

Incheon Asian Games Unveils 15000-Person Athletes' Village

http://www.47news.jp/smp/CN/201408/CN2014082601001851.html

translated by Brett Larner

With one month to go until the start of track and field competition, the 2014 Incheon Asian Games athletes' village where competitors will stay during the Games was unveiled to the media on Aug. 26.  With 2200 rooms in 22 newly-built apartment buildings in Incheon, South Korea, the village is capable of hosting up to 15000 people.  The 10000 square meter dining hall will be open 24 hours a day, with room for 3500 people to eat at the same time.

Along with accommodations, the athletes' village includes a medical center and service center in its international zone, with press conference space and other facilities located in the public area.  The athletes' village is located 40 minutes by car from the main stadium.  It will officially open on Sept. 12.  The Korea Broadcasting Corporation made up of three domestic South Korean broadcasters also announced on Aug. 26 that it would offer Incheon …

Kikuchi and Takenaka Join Farah, Kiprotich, Kiplagat and Keitany at Sept. 7 Great North Run

by Brett Larner
photos by rikujolove

2014 Copenhagen World Half Marathon Japanese national team members Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta) and Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) will join London Olympics and Moscow World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m double gold medalist Mo Farah (GBR), London and Moscow marathon gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), Daegu and Moscow World Championships marathon gold medalist Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Birmingham World Half Marathon gold medalist Mary Keitany (Kenya) and others at the Sept. 7 Great North Run half marathon in Newcastle, U.K.

Kikuchi, formerly captain of Meiji University's Hakone Ekiden team, has broken 62 minutes for the half marathon three times so far this year including a 1:01:17 PB for 2nd at February's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships and a 1:01:23 at March's Copenhagen World Half Marathon, where he was the only athlete born outside Africa to make the top 25.  Takenaka, a former captain of National Universi…

Onogawa and Takamatsu Take Gold at 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day Five and Six Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Following up on Sunday's double silver medal haul, girls' 3000 m favorite Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu and 10000 m race walk entrant Minoru Onogawa delivered PB performances to bring Japan a pair of gold medals on the fifth day of athletics competition at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics.

#1-seeded Takamatsu, 4th at the Eugene World Junior Championships in a then-PB 9:02.85, showed the wisdom of her conservative opener by outclassing the crowd of Africans who PBd in the qualifying round.  Sitting on #2 seed Alina Reh (Germany) through 2000 m, Takamatsu dropped a 2:55 final 1000 m to take over a second off her best and score gold in 9:01.58, almost four seconds better than Reh's silver medal-winning time.  Berhan Demiesa Asgedom (Ethiopia), who PBd in the qualifying round, ran another PB of 9:06.10 to pick up the bronze medal.

In the boys' 10000 m race walk, Onogawa likewise sat on Noel Ali Chama Almazan (Mexico), twice taking the lead before breaking away fo…

Ndirangu Wins Hiroshima Cross-Country Meet

by Brett Larner

Despite weeks of heavy rains that brought fatal landslides across the Hiroshima region, the 2014 Hiroshima Cross-Country Meet went ahead as planned under relatively good conditions.  Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel), a graduate of the local Sera H.S. ekiden program that previously produced the likes of sub-27 man Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC) and 2012 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Joseph Gitau (Team JFE Steel), had an easy time adding a win to his resume, finishing more than 30 seconds up on the rest of the men's 8 km field in 24:24.  Little-known Shogo Kanezane (Team Chugoku Denryoku) outran the rest of the Japanese field for 2nd, at 24:55 the only Japanese man to go under 25 minutes. His teammate Kaido Kita filled out the podium in 25:01.  The top man from the third corporate team at the meet, Chudenko's Naoya Hashimoto, was 6th in 25:16 in the midst of the chase pack's blanket finish.

2014 Hiroshima XC Meet Men's 8 km
Hiroshima, 8/23/14
click here for…

Osako and Hanyu Chase Records in Europe While Tayama Twins Take New Caledonia

by Brett Larner

Waseda University graduate Suguru Osako (Team Nissin Shokuhin) turned up at Sunday's Birmingham Grand Prix to run with sometimes training partner Mo Farah in pursuit of fellow Waseda grad Kensuke Takezawa's Japanese national record of 8:24.69.  While Farah went out way ahead of the field to set a European area record of 8:07.85 for the win, Osako came up a few seconds short of Takezawa's mark in 8:28.30.  In a distance rarely raced by Japanese athletes, Osako's time was good enough for all-time Japanese #2, joining his all-time #6 5000 m best of 13:20.80 just behind Takezawa's all-time #5 mark of 13:19.00.

A small contingent of Japanese high schoolers also turned up at Saturday's International Antwerp Athletics Gala.  Takuya Hanyu (Yachiyo Shoin H.S.), who last November ran 14:00.55 to become Japan's fastest-ever high school first-year for 5000 m, finished 2nd behind Australia's Mitchel Brown in a new PB of 13:52.98 that moved him up to …

Hiramatsu and Oshima Win Silver at 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day Four Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

The fourth day of athletics competition at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China saw the Games' first round of medal competition.  2014 National High School Champion Kenta Oshima gave Japan its first medal of the day, taking silver in the boys' 100 m in 10.57 (-0.5) just behind winner Sydney Siame of Zambia in 10.56.  2014 high jump National High School Champion Yuji Hiramatsu followed up quickly with a PB jump of 2.14 m, far short of Russian winner Danil Lysenko's jump of 2.20 m but good for another silver medal.

In the girls' 5000 m race walk Sayori Matsumoto came up just short of the medals in 4th in 23:54.71.  Discus throw youth national record holder Yume Ando was also 4th, his throw of 57.36 m undone by a PB 57.48 m throw by Ukrainian Ruslan Valitov.  In the girls' 800 m, 2014 National High School Champion Hina Takahashi was off her game, finishing last in the final in 2:09.96.

Three Japanese athletes will be competing for medals on Sunday…

2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day Two and Three Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

The last two days of qualification rounds at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China saw three Japanese athletes advance to the medal-earning A finals in their events.  2014 National High School Champion Kenta Oshima led the way in the boys' 100 m, winning his heat in 10.62 (-0.5).  Jun Yamashita followed suit in the boys' 200 m, running a PB of 21.11 (-0.4) for 2nd in his heat to make the medal round.  Tomomi Kawamura missed making it a 100% success rate for Japan's sprinters, her 25.10 in the girls' 200 m only good for 4th in her heat and a place out of the medals in the B final.  In the girls' javelin, Nagisa Mori, only 5th at the Naitonal High School Track and Field Championships earlier this month, threw a PB of 50.72 for 5th in the qualification round and making the A final.

The finals get underway Saturday, with five Japanese athletes competing for medals.  Oshima returns for the boys' 100 m final.  The girls' 800 m features 2014 Na…

2013 Hakone Ekiden Winner Nittai University to Run Aug. 31 Hokkaido Marathon

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20140821-OHT1T50125.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

University runners aiming for the Hakone Ekiden spend their harsh summers building a base of around 40 km a day.  They have a saying about the importance of their summer training camps: "Those who win the summer win the winter."  To protect its legacy of ten overall Hakone wins, the prestigious Nittai University is not afraid of new challenges that take it even beyond.

As usual, Nittai arrived in Yamagata on Aug. 8 for primary training at Zhao Onsen and Zhao Bodaira, breaking camp after morning practice on Aug. 18.  Team members had the rest of the day to spend as they like and to figure out how to get themselves to their scheduled assembly at Sendai Port at 6:30 p.m.  "If you can't think about everything for yourself as an athlete, you'll never be strong," says head coach Kenji Beppu, 48.  From Sendai the team boarded a ferry bound for Hokkaido, where it would g…

2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day One Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Over half of the small Japanese track and field contingent at the 2014 Youth Olympics saw action on the first day of competition, with over half of those qualifying for the A-level final in their events.  4th in the 3000 m at this year's World Junior Championships, Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu, the daughter of 2001 Nagano Marathon winner Maxwell Musembi, led the way with a time of 9:08.01 for 4th in the girls' 3000 m qualification round, the only runner in the top five not to PB but only 1.14 seconds behind winner Fatuma Chebsi (Bahrain).  2014 National High School champions Hina Takahashi and Yuji Hiramatsu finished 4th in their events' qualifying rounds to both make their A finals, Takahashi quick enough at 2:09.59 in the girls' 800 m and Hiramatsu one of only five athletes to clear 2.10 m in the boys' high jump.  Boys' discus national youth record holder Yume Ando threw 55.87 m for 6th in the qualifying round, good enough to also make the A final…

Kiryu Going for Asian Games Gold Despite Hip Pain

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/08/19/kiji/K20140819008774070.html
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/08/20/kiji/K20140820008775040.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

With one month to go until the start of the Incheon Asian Games, ten members of the national team's sprint contingent held a practice session open to members of the media at an indoor facility in Eniwa, Hokkaido on Aug. 19.  The big hope for Japan's first sub-10 in the men's 100 m, 18-year-old Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) talked about his ambitions for the Asian Games, saying, "I don't what kind of time I'll run, but I will be running to win."

In April Kiryu sensed tightness in his right thigh during the heats at the Oda Memorial Meet and sat the final out.  Suffering from pain in his right heel since winning the National Championships in June and cancelling two subsequent meets, Kiryu won the bronze medal at July's World Junior Championships.  Since then he has…

Japan Sends Team of Thirteen to Nanjing Youth Olympics

by Brett Larner

Amid concerns for athletes' safety in a city with strong resentment of Japanese denial of the Nanking Massacre, with delegation head Yosuke Fujiwara directing team members not to wear their uniforms outside the athletes' village and boos greeting the Japanese delegation during the opening ceremonies, Japan sends a team of only thirteen to compete in athletics at the second Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.

4th in the girls' 3000 m at last month's World Junior Championships in Eugene, U.S.A., Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) is the lone distance runner on the team, a sure medal contender after her 9:02.85 in Eugene.  Other prominent members include Hina Takahashi (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) in the girls' 800 m, Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) in the boys' 100 m, Sayori Matsumoto (Nara Ikuei H.S.) in the girls' 5000 m race walk and Yuji Hiramatsu (Shijoyo H.S.) in the boys' high jump, all national title winners at the National…

Perkins Crushes 100 Meilen Berlin Course Record (updated)

by Brett Larner
photos by Dr. Helmut Winter

In the 25th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Great Britain's Mark Perkins ran the race of his life to take nearly three hours off the 100 Meilen Berlin course record and an hour off his own best, covering the 100 mile course along the former path of the Berlin Wall in 13:06:52.

A partially handicapped runner ranked 6th in the world for 100 km in 2013, Japan's Tsutomu Nagata took the race out hard in his European debut, running mid-11 hour pace, just one second off world record pace through 21 km, and holding near world record level through 30 km before settling into something more sustainable in the low-12 hour range.  Skipping many aid stations while receiving on-the-run assistance from his wife and daughter, Perkins was never far behind him, maxing out at 4 minutes behind as he followed Nagata's lead and ran steadily on low-12 hour pace.



Nearing halfway Nagata began to suffer stomach trouble and slowed.  Perkins …

The 'Kawauchi Effect' Brings Record-Setting 779 to Nosappu Misaki Half Marathon

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140817-00000035-nksports-spo

translated by Brett Larner

The 33rd Hoppo Ryodo Nosappu Misaki Half Marathon took place Aug. 17 on the northeastern coast of Nemuro, Hokkaido. 2014 Incheon Asian Games marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran the half marathon division as an invited athlete, taking 1st in 1:06:12. The last time the Nosappu Misaki Half invited an athlete was nine years ago when it featured Seoul Olympian Akemi Matsuno.  As a measure of the 'Kawauchi Effect,' 779 people entered the race, the most ever in the event's 33-year history.

Wearing a bib reading "Give back the Northern Territories!" [a reference to an ongoing territorial dispute with Russia involving nearby islands held by the Soviet Union and Russia since the end of World War II but still claimed by Japan] emblazoned across his chest, Kawauchi showed his strength to local fans.  After finishing, he gorged himself on the local spe…

Federation Officials Examine Rio Olympics Marathon Course

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20140813/k10013771981000.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

In preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics two years from now, executives from each Japanese sports federation visited the city this week to inspect the venues for their disciplines during the same period in which the Olympics will take place.  JAAF representatives including men's marathon director Takeshi Soh and women's marathon director Yutaka Taketomi examined the marathon course running through the heart of the city.

For the most part the course avoids the Copacapana and Ipanema waterfront that characterizes Rio de Janeiro, instead featuring many straight sections with few hills or undulations.  Although it is winter, temperatures in Rio de Janeiro peaked at 30 degrees with strong sunshine on the day of the course inspection.  Members of the inspection committee began at the start point of the marathon, examining the road conditions and taking measurements of the road su…

2012 National 800 m Champion Ruriko Kubo to Leave Edion Team

http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=201408/2014081500449&g=spo

translated by Brett Larner

On Aug. 15 it was announced that middle-distance runner Ruriko Kubo (25) will leave the Edion corporate women's team at the end of this month.  In 2011 Kubo ran 2:01.90 to become the second-fastest Japanese woman in history, going on to win the 800 m at the 2012 Japanese National Championships.  According to an Edion spokesperson, Kubo explained the decision by saying "I want to re-examine myself."

Elite Trail Runner Tsuyoshi Soma Disappears While Climbing The Matterhorn (updated)

http://fuji-trailhead.com/archives/1779https://www.facebook.com/fujitrailhead
http://fuji-trailhead.com/archives/1784http://fuji-trailhead.com/archives/1788
http://fuji-trailhead.com/archives/1791http://fuji-trailhead.com/archives/1794

translated by Brett Larner

I will continue to update this story as Fuji Trailhead posts new information to its website.

July 15
From July 16 to July 25 I'll be in Switerland.  I'm running the Eiger Ultra Trail race, 101 km with 6700 m total elevation change.  After the race I want to climb the Matterhorn, but from looking at live cameras I get the feeling for some reason that the snow conditions aren't very good, so I wonder whether I should do it.

But, I'm going to run, climb, and enjoy it with all my heart.  I can't wait to do my kind of trail running and mountain climbing for the first time in a long time.  While I'm in Switzerland it make take me a while to reply to emails.  When I get back home, let's enjoy the mountains of…

"I Want to Send a Message" - Tsutomu Nagata to Make European Debut at This Weekend's 100 Meilen Berlin

by Brett Larner

In the fall of 2010 Tsutomu Nagata was in his mid-20's, a nearly-elite runner who had done 14:16 and 29:44 on the track before leaving the Self-Defense Forces team to join the ranks of the world's countless full-time working amateur runners.  On November 28, 2010, he raced the Tsukuba Marathon, running down four people in the last 5 km to take 3rd in a PB 2:27:36.  Nine days later Nagata's right arm was caught in the conveyor belt of a can-pressing machine at the factory where he worked, causing serious damage that left him hospitalized for almost two months.  Reconstructive surgery was unsuccessful, leaving his right arm permanently in a brace with limited use of his hand and fingers.

After months in the hospital he was unsure of the impact on his running, but, he says, "there was never any question of quitting.  Instead, I felt very strongly that 'I can still do it!'"  Once he returned home he started with walking, building up to 30 minu…

Kawauchi to Run Last Marathon Before Asian Games at Perth Marathon

http://mainichi.jp/sponichi/news/20140813spn00m050012000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

2014 Incheon Asian Games men's marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) has confirmed that he will run the Aug. 31 City to Surf Marathon in Perth, Australia.  The race has been on his tentative schedule for some time but he did not officially commit to it until Aug. 12.  It will be Kawauchi's final marathon before the Oct. 3 Asian Games.

Kawauchi has run many Australian marathons in recent years, winning the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and Sydney Marathon and finishing 2nd at the Melbourne Marathon.  Famous for running while maintaining his career as a civil servant, interviews with him have been published in Australian running magazines.  A familiar and comfortable place for him, Kawauchi hopes that another quick spin through Australia will help him succeed in his ambitions for the Asian Games.

Before Perth, Kawauchi will run Sunday's Hoppo Ryodo Nos…

Japan's Marathon Women Can Still Aim for the Win

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/running/kataru/20140723-OYT8T50026.html

translated by Brett Larner

Part of a series, an interview with former women's marathon world record holder and Sydney Olympics gold medalist Naoko Takahashi, the first woman to ever break 2:20 for the marathon.

With regard to the Japanese athletics world, ever since Mizuki Noguchi won the medal at the Athens Olympics women's long distance has taken a downturn.

Yes, it has fallen a bit, hasn't it?

Are there any athletes in particular that you're paying special attention to?

Personally speaking, I'm watching Natsuki Omori from Ritsumeikan University. She never made the National High School Championships, but now that she's in her second year of university she has just exploded and is developing quickly. She's aggressive and has really nice form, so if she can keep going like this for four years without getting injured then I want to see her go to the marathon. She's somebody I'm really ex…

Josai University's Kishima Twins Face One Last Chance for Hakone Ekiden Glory

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20140807-OHT1T50169.html

translated by Brett Larner

Tossed about by the winds of a complex fate, Josai University's twin runners Ryota and Keita Kishima, both seniors, face their final year at the Hakone Ekiden together.  At the last Hakone this past January, the younger Keita was scheduled to run the anchor Tenth Stage but was replaced by the older Ryota on race morning.  In his debut at Japan's greatest race Ryota finished only 18th, while Keita still awaits what will be his first and last time setting foot on Hakone's hallowed ground.  This season the pair are aiming to make the team together, handing off the tasuki one to another and going for the top.

This year Hakone celebrated its 90th running.  Course record holder Toyo University's twins Yuta Shitara (now Team Honda) and Keita Shitara (now Team Konica Minolta) won the Third and Fifth Stages, playing crucial roles in guaranteeing Toyo the overall win.  While the Shitara twins ba…

William Malel Drives Honda to Second-Straight Towada Hachimantai Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

Despite thunderstorms bringing heavy rain that shut down highways and roads in the area, the Honda corporate team came through with its second-straight win today at the 67th Towada Hachimantai Ekiden in Akita.  The rain may actually have helped the situation by alleviating Towada's normal summer heat as times were fast across the board compared to other years.  None was faster than Honda's William Malel (Kenya), who covered the 13.4 km, 180 m downhill Second Stage in 35:27 and took an incredible 45 seconds off the stage record set just last year.  Malel started the Second Stage in 7th, but by the time he handed off to Honda's third man Hiroaki Sano he had a lead of 33 seconds and from there Honda never looked back.

Sano, the top Japanese man at last year's Chicago Marathon, extended the lead to 1:29, running 46:23 for the 16.2 km Third Stage.  Honda's Keita Baba ran 49:17 for the 16.4 km Fourth Stage, its fastest mark by over a minute, to put the te…

"The Further We Got the Longer and Steeper the Hills Became" - The Kyoto Isshu Trail Run

by Gregg Yarborough

Reader Gregg Yarborough recently visited Japan on business, running the 6th Kyoto Isshu Trail Run while he was here.  This is his account of the race.

When I was informed by my company that I would be traveling to Japan for 3 weeks on business I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity to find a trail race in Japan to run during my visit. Not knowing anything about races in Japan I enlisted the help of Brett Larner who got me registered for the Kyoto Trail Run, a 32 km trail run across the mountains in the north of Kyoto, Japan.  Although I never received my race packet I took the bullet train to Kyoto with the assurance that just telling them my name would be enough to get my number and be able to line up on the starting line, and so it was. When I arrived at the check-in area I could only hope that someone there would be able to speak English since I know almost no Japanese. As it turns out the first volunteer I approached spoke enough English to understa…