Hadleigh Parkes column: Japanese culture and World Cup excitement

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In his BBC Sport column, center Hadleigh Parkes looks forward to Wales’ World Cup opener and shows how he and his team-mates happen to be enjoying the civilization in Japan.
Everyone’s so eager because of our World Cup campaign to begin. Now that we are here in Japanwe only want to get trapped inside.
We’ve been building towards it for a very long time, not just pre-season but the past two years, building a great deal of power in depth and instruction difficult.
We saw that the match on Friday and we just can’t wait to begin on Monday with our first game against Georgia.
We are a few of the last groups therefore it’ll be great to kick off, after which it is about creating momentum so we are here for as long as you can.
That is the reason why we’re here, to have a successful World Cup, but it’s also been good to take in the culture of Japan.
I had been looking forward to trying some food before arriving here, and it’s been amazing to eventually sample it for real.
There’s a stat doing the rounds which Foxy, Jonathan Davies, and I’m since I made my Test debut a couple of years back the partnership who’ve played the most matches collectively in rugby.
We’ve got a fantastic relationship on the pitch and it is a one off it as well.
Foxy’s at finding places to eat excellent and, like me, he is always eager to learn about cultures and the customs of various nations.
On one of the days off during our training camp at Kitakyushu, a group of us Foxy, Dan Biggar, Wyn Jones, Tomas Francis and me – caught a bullet train and went for the afternoon to Hiroshima.
I like looking into the history and culture of areas, and that has been.
We got there and had a peek at some of the fires of the atom bomb which went away there, and then we moved to the museum as well.
It was interesting but very extreme. It was very humbling.
Considering what all those people went and having a look around, it was a strong experience.
Later we decided to look at the city of Hiroshima, and it’s a very great place.
While we were there, Foxy found a standard Japanese restaurant which served a pancake which could be layered having an omelette or pancake, okonomiyaki, meat, noodles, veg – everything!
It was really yummy and it was fantastic to eat the Japanese way, gathered around a small pub, sat in the front of the food as it was being cooked, and the restaurant was very bustling, full of people coming for a meal after work.
It was just like we were back in Wales when we have been in Kitakyushu because of messages and of the flags around.
Over the past few years establishing that relationship between Kitakyushu and Wales, the Welsh Rugby Union did a work, and we could see the advantages of it.
Everywhere we went, people were stopping us at the road and shouting”football players! Wales!” To people.
The folks here have been really good. They’re so respectful, always bowing – it strikes you.
It was pretty amazing as they really embraced Wales and Welsh rugby to maintain that town.
The open training session was incredible – I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in anything like it previously.
That bunch of 15,000 people was bigger than a lot of the audiences that’s not taking anything away from your Pro14, and we get in the Pro14, it had been an amazing reception.
So a lot of the boys have been getting homesick Everybody away from house, but I’m used to get away from your home.
I moved in a young age and went to boarding school, so I am a bit more accustomed to it compared to many others.
It’s a time for people.
People do really say”you love traveling, do not you, so that you know where to go for food that is nice”, and I really do, and luckily I’ve got Foxy too who is very good at that.
He has taken the lead on this so far, so it has been nice to take a back seat.
Hadleigh Parkes spoke to BBC Sport Wales’ Dafydd Pritchard.
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