Hadleigh Parkes column: Japanese culture and World Cup excitement

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In his latest BBC Sport column, centre Hadleigh Parkes looks to Wales’ World Cup opener and shows the way his team-mates and he have been enjoying the culture in Japan.
Everyone’s so eager because of our World Cup campaign to get started. Now that we’re here in Japanwe just need to get stuck in.
We have been building towards it for a long time, not only pre-season but the previous two decades, building a great deal of strength in depth and instruction hard.
We saw that the opening match on Friday and we can’t wait to get started with our first match against Georgia on Monday.
We are a few of the groups to start at the tournament, so it will be nice to kick , and it is all about creating momentum so we are here for as long as possible.
That’s the reason why we’re here, to have a successful World Cup, but it has also been great to have in Japan’s culture.
I was excited about trying some food and it’s been amazing to eventually sample it.
There is a stat doing the rounds that Jonathan Davies, Foxy, and I’m since I left my Test debut the middle partnership who have played the most matches together in rugby.
We have got a excellent relationship and it is a great one off it.
Foxy’s at finding great places to eat good and, for me, he is always eager to find out about various countries’ customs and cultures.
On one of our days away during our training camp in Kitakyushu, some of us Foxy, Dan Biggar, Wyn Jones, Tomas Francis and me — caught a bullet train and went for your day to Hiroshima.
I enjoy looking into the history and culture of places, which was a place I wanted to visit.
We had a look at some of the remnants of the atom bomb which went away there and got there, then we moved into the museum.
It was intriguing but very extreme. It was very humbling.
Thinking about what those people went and Possessing a look round, it was a really powerful experience.
We decided to look at the town of Hiroshima, and it’s a wonderful location.
While we’re there, Foxy discovered a standard Japanese restaurant that functioned okonomiyaki, a pancake that could be layered having an omelette or even pancake, meat, noodles, veg — all!
It was really yummy and it was great to consume the Japanese manner, assembled around a small pub, sat in front of the food as it was being cooked, and the restaurant was very bustling, filled with individuals coming for a meal after work.
It was if we had been in Kitakyushu due to communications and all of the flags about, just like we had been back in Wales.
Over the last couple of years establishing that association between Kitakyushu and Wales the Welsh Rugby Union did a wonderful work, and we can see the benefits of it.
Everywhere we went, people were stopping us in the road and yelling»rugby players! Wales!» To us.
The people here are so nice. They’re so respectful bowing — you virtually throw.
It was quite amazing as they embraced Wales and Welsh rugby to take that city.
The coaching session was amazing — I do not think I have ever been involved in anything like it previously.
That bunch of 15,000 people was bigger than a lot of the crowds we buy in the Pro14, and that is not taking anything away from your Pro14, it had been an incredible reception.
Everybody away from house so lots of the boys have been getting homesick, but I am utilized to living away from home.
I moved at quite a young age and went to boarding school, therefore I am somewhat more used to it than others.
It’s a long time for individuals.
People do actually say»you enjoy touring, don’t you, so that you know where to go for food that is nice», and I really do, and luckily I have Foxy too who is very good at that.
He has taken the lead on that 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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