Princeton Plays in Costa Rica, Hofstra at Games in Tokyo

The trip was made easier by students from Keio University who came with us on the bus and served as our tour guides. The statue of Amida Buddha, which probably dates back to 1252 in the Kamakura period according to temple records, was a popular photo spot for the group. The group did a walking tour of the temples and shrines and of course, did some souvenir shopping.

We returned to the hotel at approximately 4:15 p.m. and we're all free to grab dinner on our own and get some more flavor of Tokyo tonight. Just a busy Tuesday with three scrimmages/games and a trip to Tokyo Disney on Wednesday remain on our tour before we depart for New York early Thursday morning.

Tuesday, June 5
Today is the last day of games as we face Waseda University, the University of Tokyo and Keio University. Each game will be played with four, 10-minute quarters. You can bet with a day like today everyone will play. The team and staff met for a team breakfast in the hotel before traveling by bus to Oi-2nd Stadium

After a team breakfast in the hotel, the team traveled by bus to Oi-2nd Stadium. The first game was against Waseda University and the Pride came out on top, 9-2. Mike DeNapoli tallied six goals and Lance Yapor, Steve Romano and Korey Hendrickson each added single goals for Hofstra.

After a short rest, the University of Tokyo was our next opponent. It was another spirited contest and the Pride came out on top again, 10-3. Every player had an opportunity to play and our seniors switched up some of their positions. DeNapoli tallied three goals, Ryan Rielly added two and Brad Loizeaux, Tyler Begley, Lance Yapor, Torin Varn and Cole Koesterer scored solo goals.

The last game of the day was against Keio University and we closed out our tour with a perfect 5-0 record with a 9-4 win. Lance Yapor posted three goals, Mike DeNapoli scored two goals and Tyler Begley, Brian Hogan, Rob Bellairs and Anthony Zappone also notched single goals. Like Waseda and Tokyo before them, Keio played their collective hearts out and battled for 40 minutes.

After the final game, all four teams were out on the field exchanging t-shirts, pinnies, lapel pins and even some equipment. Lacrosse makes Friends is the theme of the Friendship Games and we have certainly made our share.

After returning to the hotel, showering and changing, we enjoyed a team dinner, with some of the university students, at Amataro's in Roppongi. Amataro's is one of the most popular Izakaya chain restaurants in Tokyo, which offers affordable food and drink menu as well as all-you-can eat yakiniku/shabu-shabu course at the price of 2,614 yen (approx. $33).

The realization has set in that we have just a little more than a day remaining in our tour and that is sad. But the team is looking forward to seeing Sumo Wednesday morning and Tokyo Disney in the afternoon before we head home early Thursday morning...very early Thursday morning.

Wednesday, June 6
Today (Wednesday) is our last day in Tokyo. The team woke up for an early breakfast at 7 a.m. and then boarded a bus to downtown Tokyo to attend a sumo practice. Upon arrival, the boys and I entered and took our shoes off for the Dojo. The practice facility consisted of a concrete floor lightly covered in clay with a circle in the middle which made up the ring. There were 5 wrestlers, who varied in size, and all were wearing sumo thongs. We watched each of the wrestlers fight against each other and it seemed as if they were doing "king of the hill" so the winner stayed. We were very intrigued to find out how hard they hit each other and the intensity of the matches.

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