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22 October 2007 @ 10:23 pm
My first experience paragliding (sort of!) *** Could I be a daredevil?  
Yesterday, I went paragliding! Well, more or less. =D I'll explain. But it was quite a grand adventure, if I do say so myself! I know that I'm going to look back on this day as one of the most exciting times in my life (so far)!!!

The place that I went, Komachi Paraglider School, is about two or so hours from Tokyo by way of trains and driving. It's pretty high up, and really a gorgeous place! I went with a group called Tokyo Gaijins, who regularly organize all sorts of events in and outside of Tokyo. It's the first time that I've joined in on one of their events, because sometimes they are quite a bit more expensive than I would pay going alone. But I joined in this time because it was pretty cheap, and I was interested in meeting new people and doing something that I wouldn't do on my own. I am really glad that I went!! (even though I missed one of my connecting trains--I took 5!!-- and almost didn't make it!) I met a lot of really great people, some very.. colorful people, and had all sorts of fun! Everyone was so nice!! I got the same impression-- that most of the people there liked meeting new people and were adventurous and fun. I really am going to go on some more of the events when I can afford them! Anyone who is in the Tokyo area, please join the mailing list! We suggested some really fun things that haven't been done in the group before that we'd all like to try, too, so maybe they will be planned in the future! (Scuba-diving, spleunking/caving (YAY!!), etc), and the organizer/guide Ricky mentioned a scouting trip to Iwo Jima soon with the idea of seeing if there was anything worth organizing a trip to in the future.. Omg wow IwoJima!! The history....

Back to paragliding... wow, what a rush! Even though we didn't get to jump off of a hill at all.. What happened was that the wind was too strong that day to be safe, so they were going to tell us that we couldn't do anything. But we insisted on being allowed to practice-- not only had we paid a lot, but we'd all come a long loooooong way (and trains are NOT cheap). So they had us watch a video, sign the insurane, and took us out to train on the big open fields. I was pretty nervous at first, but after I started my first run, it was a LOT of fun! Tiring, too, but we were all too busy laughing and cheering each other on to think about the fatigue! It's really fun getting all strapped into the harness equipment, and then to the parachute itself. It's not as complicated as it looks to strap in. But it's a LOT heavier and harder than it looks to run with the thing!! Not only are your movements restricted by the belts and buckles, but the wind has ideas of it's own where you are going to go! If you're not careful (thanks to the instructors that nobody had accidents that were... too bad) then you really could get into trouble! The wind pulls hard on you while you're getting the chute up in the air, and it gets pretty hard to force it in the direction that you want! But oh man, it was fun! I was really upset that we didn't get to jump, though. Getting lifted a few inches off the ground while training doesn't really count. They did take us up to the hill, but after two accidents (several people are in a bit of pain now, but alright) with students due to lack of the correct wind and/or too strong winds, and a few more people actually running down the hill because they couldn't get enough lift, the instructors called it off. It was pretty satisfied to see the instructor try one last time and fall on his butt though. :) *vindictive* They gave us coupons to come back any time and just pay the insurance fee, which is good. But it's quite expensive to get there and.. ugh. But at least we won't have to go through training and will just get to jump  next time! I'm definitely going back... thinking about taking one of the courses sometime to get certified and jump from the bigger places next time!

First arriving at the school, we thought we were going to jump off of this cliff.. =D

The group of us. =D I didn't know anyone, but met a lot of really nice people!

Listening to the instructions on how to lay out the canopy correctly.

Ricky, our organizer..

Laying out one of the canopies...

One of my group members all ready to go!

Now I'm all suited up and ready to go!!

LOL lots of layers on because it was cold... I don't like how I look! ^_^;; But the straps were actually comfy and not heavy at all!

This is better! =D

It was HEAVY!

I was seriously pulling as hard as I could, and could only barely move it!!! But actually, I did pretty well. I run quickly and my legs are really strong because of all the walking that I do. =D I don't have a lot of stamina, but short distances are great. =D

1st run over!

This is how you carry the chute back up the hill for the next runner! =D

I'm getting strapped in again. =D

Ready to go!

It tried to blow me away and I'm like.. NO!!

You had to really lean into it and pull with all your might!

Even though most of us had brought lunches, the guides served us some DELICIOUS udon cooked outdoors! I don't think I've ever had udon this good before, it was like heaven! That's what it should always be like. =D

I played with this ladybug during lunch... They're so pretty! But I only got a picture of it's butt before it got bored of me and flew away. :(

What a rush!!

After we didn't get to jump any more, we went on a short hike to do something with the time. This was the view from one of the advanced jumping points (that I SO want to jump!!)

It's so.. far!!

Random trail marker..

Random pictures..

And the end of the day...! ^^

Well, in the end..

1- I'm definitely going to continue this and try again! Not only for the small hill, but I want to try and possibly take the certification course next summer, and I also want to try jumping in tandem!
2- This was one of the biggest rushes I've ever had, even though it wasn't the 'real thing' quite yet!
3- I want to do more things like this! Excitement suits me. <3
4- Who wants to do things like this with me?
Yuvi: *hehehe* - Narutoyuvi on October 22nd, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
WOW! even if you didn't jump.. wow. It sounds like tons of fun! I don't know if I would be able to do that or not, I am terribly scared of heights O.O

As always you take wonderful pictures ^_^
ange: damnangelamori on October 22nd, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
wow. it looks... physically exhausting. ^_^ Sounds really really cool though. And maybe one day, when I'm not that scared of heights. ^_^;
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 23rd, 2007 07:37 am (UTC)
It's Tuesday afternoon, more than 48 hours later, and I'm still sore. And my stamina is GONE. ;_; But I would do it again in a heartbeat! =D You should try it out! I'm not scared of heights, so I can't really say what it's like from that perspective, but otherwise it feels like a real rush, and I haven't even done the real thing yet, so to speak! =D
Eajoa on October 22nd, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
That's awesome!! Looks and sounds like a lot of fun!! Otsukaresama deshita! ^^

And, you look so pretty! *___*
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 23rd, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)
Awwwww, thank you!! *^_^*
jean_kun on October 22nd, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Awesome~! I sometimes see paragliders (or maybe it's hang gliders) jumping off a big hill whenever we take a backroad to Issaquah. I think it's somewhere near Tiger Mountain...well, it's on the back road from Maple Valley to Issaquah XDDD

Beautiful scenery! And wow, it must be so exciting! I hope you get to jump for real the next time :D
rollergalval: w00trollergalval on October 23rd, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
COOL! That looks like so much fun! I would love to do something like that someday.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on October 23rd, 2007 07:38 am (UTC)
I was actually thinking that you'd really like this, while I was doing it! You should try it, and then maybe some day we can do it together! <3
Lin: 96starrbeam on October 23rd, 2007 08:17 am (UTC)
Actually I would love it try that.
I've bungee jumped and that was fun :D

It looks like lots of fun ^_^
(Anonymous) on October 23rd, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
WOW!! just.....WOW!!! Looks like fun and also hard work. You look great!! Now I really miss you lots more after seeing you. I'm glad it turned out well even if the wind didn't cooperate. I will have to look paragliding up near me. Love you!! Mom
Vestara: what's UP?veztara on October 23rd, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
OMG! Looks so fuuuunn *___*
I wish I don't have to be afraid of heights.. DX
Chiakichiaki777 on October 24th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Sounds like a lot of fun, glad you could go ^^
Raynermundist on October 24th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
Too bad I'm over here. You know I'd be all over that (Yes, the paragliding...HA!) I honestly can't wait until I get my finances to a point so that I can do all the stuff I want to do. Considering I could ski, raft, and surf each on a different day at the right time of the year here...got a lot to look forward to. 'Course doing that stuff by myself would be lame. Guess either I need to visit or if you ever return you'll have to come around these parts.

Oh, and Death Note started this past weekend. Interesting first episode. I think I'll like the series.
☆チャーリーちゃん☆: TRC-Fay_Sakura_nikori!charlie_chan on October 26th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
oh wow! looks like so much fun! and the nature is beautiful as always ^w^
whenever i make it back to Japan you better be certifyed so you can take me out flying too, lol!
(Anonymous) on April 22nd, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Hello I saw the pics and its awesome. when you people are going next time for paragliding.