Tuesday 9 July 2013

Osaka Nightlife

Today we had lectures and teaching games again. These things are quite interesting to do but sometimes not so exciting to write about. Therefore I will just give you a take home message of the lecture: "If you want to become stronger do not worry about territory." For safety reasons make sure to interpret this as 'do not worry about territory to early in the game'.
However, more unusual today was our late night activity. Imagine you are in a neighborhood like the one you see in the photo below.

Further imagine there is a shop that looks from the outside like this. What would you expect when you go in?

Whatever you imagine. If you decide to go in, the chances are very high to meet some Go professionals there. The owner and barkeeper is Hideki Enda, 9 Dan professional at the Nihon Kiin. He is traveling a lot to teach Go. When he was in South America he noticed that playing Go in a pub is much more fun. Back in Osaka he opened one :-)

The bar is one of these very narrow buildings which are taller than wide. The upper floor is devoted entirely to Go.

In the bar you find a lot of souvenirs from Hideki-senseis many travels. For example Go "bowels" from Peru or Madagaskar or this nice picture between the spirits.

We had to pay kind of an entrance fee of 1000 Yen but got a free drink for that. So the actual fee is quite low. We even met a few people from our friendly tournaments.

Since the trains to go home stop around midnight we had to leave at 11:30 pm. I'm sure otherwise some people would have continued to play Pair-Go and Lottery Go.
On our way home I noticed for the first time that the trains have women-only cabins. Probably they are just used in the night.
The next two days we will be on a trip to Hiroshima and Innoshima. Therefore there might be no posts until  I return. But I'm sure I will bring a lot of photos with me.

PS: This is an official envelope for sealing a move over night. It was used in a Kisei title match where Hideki-sensei was the referee. Even the kifu with the next move is still inside. Since this is done just in a few title matches it is quite rare to see such an envelope.
For those of you not familiar with title matches: In the really important games players have up to 8 hours of thinking time each and the games go over two days. At some point in the evening, time is called and the active player must secretly write his next move down. This should ensure that no one can use all night planning the perfect next move.
PPS: The wooden box next to the envelope is a sake drink cup from a title celebration of Iyama Juta :-)


  1. Thanks this report, which also shows what you do outside of the Go camp. And you are right, you guys do go out - in order to play Go somewhere else... XD

  2. your posts get more and more interesting.

  3. I can't believe I didn't find out about your blog till now!! This is incredible. I am so jealous of the trip you guys are on and can't wait to hear more about it!