In August, I went out to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara for a few days. My karate teacher's wife is from there, and the family gathers each summer for Obon, an August holiday. Last year, David and I drove down from Akita with Mr. Sasaki. This year David was busy, but I took the train out from Tokyo.

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After a few days in the Osaka area, we drove back up to Akita. I spent several days around Honjo and Chokai before taking the train back down south. I had a lot of vacation days, so I took the slow cheap trains. I spent one night in a net cafe in Yonezawa, Yamagata. The second day I got down to Nasushiobara, where David and Jon live. After two days hanging out with them, I returned to Tokyo.

In July, a month before what's described above, I went to see the Japanese Karate Association's national tournament. It's held every year in Tokyo. The first day is at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, and the second day is at the Nihon Budokan. Mr. Sasaki has been a judge at this tournament for many years, so I went to see karate and visit him and his brother, who also judges at the tournament.

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