In May Jerry and Joan Veazey spent spent 10 days touring and playing pickleball in Japan, hosted by USAPA National Champion Daniel Moore. Here’s Jerry and Joan’s exciting first-hand report:
Our group of 17 Americans acted as pickleball “ambassadors” in an effort to promote the growth of the sport in Japan, where it was introduced in 2014.
In the photo at top, we’re joining the Japanese pickleball club of Saku-Kitaaiki Village, population 750. We were the most Americans to EVER visit the village and we enjoyed quite a reception! Members of the local club bowed and applauded as we arrived in our small bus — we felt like celebrities! — LOL. Once inside the gym, the mayor and other local dignitaries gave speeches welcoming us to their village. Thank goodness tour leader Daniel Moore, who lives in Japan, was there to interpret what was being said. We were then treated to a performance by some extremely talented Japanese drummers.
Our two pros, Daniel Moore and Jennifer Lucore, drilled us at every opportunity. We received some excellent coaching. Many of you should remember Daniel Moore because it was Daniel who came over three years ago and conducted the clinic at the Frisco courts. Daniel is a many-time USAPA national champion, and not to be outdone, his dad, Scott Moore, is also a many-time national champion.
The trip was very well planned by Daniel. We visited Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Yamanuchi, Nagano and many other cities. We toured historical shrines….
and traditional small villages…..
And yes, we rode the “Shinkansen” (The Bullet Train) at 170 miles per hour. And yes, we visited the famous “Snow Monkeys” of Japan.
The food was mostly traditional Japanese fare. However there were options for western food choices if preferred. The weather was outstanding.
Our group of seventeen was the “perfect” size group. We got to know everyone on the trip and we are now friends on Facebook.
Jerry earned a “most valuable player” award, along with another American and two Japanese players.
All in all, it was certainly a “trip of a lifetime” for us. Do it if you get the opportunity — you won’t regret it!
See you on the courts,