I had an amazing time in Japan. Some of the things I got to learn about while I was there were how to film and edit videos. One of the days, Shinya took Terry and me to a park close to Rewind to teach me how to shoot a good clip video. We spent the whole afternoon filming, and later we edited the video back at Rewind. There are many different angles and slow motion shots in this video that add very cool effects. Some of the tricks in this video are old tricks that you have probably seen before if you have seen my videos, but there are also some new tricks and combos in the video that I hope to use in future yo-yo contests. This video was filmed and edited by Shinya. Please give us a comment to tell us what you think. Enjoy the video!
The Nine Dragons is a very unique yo-yo. It is a collaboration made by Yo-Yo Formula and YoYoFactory. The yo-yo is made from both delrin and aluminum. The inside cap is aluminum and the body is machined delrin. The inside cap and the delrin body spin freely from each other. This allows you to grab the spinning yoyo by the body without it dying. Thanks to this unique design, you can do some really interesting tricks with endless possibilities. Because the two pieces spin freely the yo-yo will never flop or spin out while being horizontal, unless it runs out of spin. This is perfect if you want to do horizontal tricks.
The Nine Dragons will be available at Yo-Yo Store REWIND on May 14th at 00:00am, Japan Time, and at YO-YO USA on May 14th at 00:00am, PST.
The second day we went and visited the Rewind store in Shibuya. We were greeted by Jun and the staff. The Rewind store is small but has a wide variety of yo-yos, strings and accessories. That same day we went to Chums, a very cool apparel store that has a huge following in Japan. I got to meet the store manager, who is a good friend of Rewind’s, and show him some tricks. The store manager likes yo-yoing so much he carries a wide variety of yo-yos in his store.
After Chums we went to lunch at a ramen house. They take ramen eating very seriously at this specific ramen place. Everyone has their own individual booth that has walls in between them so you can concentrate on eating your ramen and nothing else. To order your ramen you fill out a piece of paper asking about your ramen preferences. The ramen was delicious! I like how you got to customize the ramen to your specific liking.
The third and final day in Tokyo we did demos again. This time Shinya Kido and I did the demos. Shinya would start with a responsive yo-yo demo. He would get the crowd warmed up and interested in yo-yoing. Next I would go up and do offstring and then Shinya would come back out and finish the demo off with an unresponsive yo-yo show. After the demo, one of the yo-yo kids brought Shinya and me a present. It was a sweet snack shaped as a fish. The outside of the treat was very soft and sweet and the center was filled with custard. It was so good!
I enjoyed doing the demos in Tokyo. All the people that came out to see us or stop to watch were very nice people. I enjoyed teaching the kids how to yo-yo. I hope I can to more demos in Tokyo soon.
We woke up at 3am to leave for a long 5 hour drive to Tokyo. When we got to Tokyo we went to a shopping mall called Cocoon City, where we were going to be doing demos for the day. We were greeted there by the mall employees. They treated us like we were famous celebrities. They brought us food, water, and escorted us to and from the stage where we were demoing. The employees that helped us had yo-yos painted on their cheeks. Walking through the mall it was a dream come true to see all the posters with our pictures on them plastered all over the mall.
The stage was set up in front of a main entrance to the mall. It had a lot of foot traffic and people would stop and watch us yo-yo.
The first day’s demos were performed by Shu Takada and me. I would go first and do an offstring performance for the crowd. Next Shu would perform his 1A and 2A tricks. It was entertaining to watch Shu not only yo-yo but perform using all of his dance moves. After the demos we would have a signing session where people could get things signed by the yo-yo pros and also take pictures with them. We signed many things like yo-yos, shirts, poster, phone cases, and phones. After the signing we would teach people tricks and have a long sleeper contest for the little kids so they could win prizes. We performed 5 shows that day.
For the nights we stayed in Tokyo we slept in a capsule hotel. I had never stayed in a capsule hotel before. I had a lot of bad thoughts and rumors in my head of what the experience was going to be like. The internet was not any help at putting my mind at ease. When we got there I was pleasantly surprised. We took off our shoes and put them into a very nice lock box and put on the slippers provided. Walking into the hotel was very nice.
When we got to the beds I was yet again surprised. They were soft beds with a modern sleek look to them. The experience I had in the capsule hotel exceeded my expectations.
HamaCon was an amazing two day event! The contest was put on by Shinya Muraki. The contest ran smoothly with not only great yo-yo freestyles, but also great sponsor shows. Those were put on by the sponsors of the event. They got stage time to promote their business. There was yo-yoing, spin tops, diabolo, poi, and even a juggling dragon.
The first day of the contest they had beginner division for yo-yoing and diabolo, over 40 division, women’s division, team division, and diabolo finals. The beginner divisions were a lot of fun to watch. There was a lot of great young talent. I was surprised to see how skilled the young kids were, with some of the competitors being only 7 or 8 years old. The over 40 division was also interesting to witness. It was nice to see a lot of the parents of the kids competing get on stage and compete themselves. I am so happy to see that the event had so many women competing in the women’s division. I was impressed at the talent they had at this contest.
Next was the team division, where groups of yo-yoers compete together. It was very cool to see teams working to together to yo-yo, and was very different compared to normal competition. To wrap up the first day of the contest they had diabolo finals. I have not watched a lot of diabolo freestyles in the past. I now regret that I haven’t. The diabolo finals were so crazy to watch. They had players doing big and technical tricks with 1 and up to 3 diabolos at one time. It was mind blowing to see in person. This division really inspired me and gave me a lot of new trick ideas.
Day two started with 1A freestyles there was a lot of great upcoming talent in this division. The division was filled with young kids that not only had great tricks but also had very clean freestyles. Next was the 2A division. 2A was excellent with a lot of players with crazy tricks. Day two finished with the X division.
The X division is 3A, 4A, and 5A divisions all competing against each other. I competed in this division. I had so much fun on stage. The level of competition was insane. There were so many big name players with great, difficult tricks. I wish I could compete against this level of skill all the time. I think it would make me a better yo-yoer.
Rei Iwakura won this division with a nearly flawless routine. He also had great music use and put on a show for the crowd. He ended his routine with his signature soloham tricks. That left the crowd wanting more.
44 FESTA had a booth and was holding mini contests. They had yo-yo wrestling. Yo-yo wrestling played like this: you have two people each pick a yo-yo at random from a box. Then they both throw the yo-yo and try to hit the other person’s yo-yo until it stops spinning. The last yo-yo spinning wins. They also had a contest to see who could do the most of the same trick in one throw. They had tricks like suicides, boingy-boingy, Eli hops, and offstring whips.
The last event they had was an arm wrestling contest. The crowd really liked this event. There were some good match ups and even a broken arm.
The winners of all the divisions received a prize bag with yo-yos in it, a certificate of their achievement, and a giant 66 pound bag of rice. One of the sponsors of the event was a rice company and donated a lot of rice.
At the very end of the contest the organizers did a traditional Japanese event called “Mochi Throwing.” They stood on the contest stage and threw a ton of individual packaged mochi (soft rice cakes) into the crowd. I caught enough to fill a grocery bag. The mochi was good but even a small piece was really filling. I had so many leftover that I divided them up with my friends. Mochi throwing was a fun new experience for me!
I had a great time at this event. It was amazing to see such a high level of competition for kids as young as 7 and parents over 40. If you are looking for a fun contest to go to with a very high skill level that will blow your mind, go to Hamamatsu Yo-Yo Contest.