I am a french player. I play in real life at "Le Club de l'Observatoire" in Paris, a very friendly place I just discovered close to my home.
I discovered Go thanks to a nice book entitled "Petit traité invitant à la découverte de l'art subtil du go", written partly by Georges Perec.
I play on the net as MichelAnge? on IGS (2k*) and Kropotkin on KGS (4k). I am 8 kyu on the french ladder.
I was in Japan between the 8th and the 28th of may 2006. I intended to play go a little but it was not the highest priority on my stereotypical tourist todo list.
Actually I won't talk about non my non-go related activities in Japan except the general impression of those three weeks: Japanese people are the kindest on earth and Japan tourist spots are really beautiful.
Coming to go, most of the stuff below will seem ridiculous to Japanese speaker and/or Japan-knowledgeable. But part of those situations is interesting and could be useful to others knowing that it was my first time in Japan and I only speak a few words (like "Does this train goes to Osaka ?" or "How much is this woodblock print ?").
- Go books
The cool point for a "lost in translation" guy is that it's quite easy to find some go books: just enter a big library in Tokyo or Kyoto and ask gently for go books (something like "Igo no hon wa doko dess ka"), see some adresses at the end. Japanese go books offering was far beyond my imagination in terms of quality and quantity. Let's say the largest offer I've seen is a 2 meters high x 2 meters large shelve.
ihgo: sure, the Nihon KiIn? has more than any library but the cool thing is you can find dozens of good go books in any japanese standard library :-)
The interesting point for non Japanese speaker is problem books: you need to read black/white to play and good/bad only and they have tons of pocket size tesuji/fuseki book problems. What stroke me is the range of difficulty. For instance a collection of tesuji books by Ishida Yoshio has 5/6 books which begin from very simple tesujis to the hardest ones in the last volume: from far easier than the Davies Tesuji to far more difficult. I found a lot of easy/medium/hard tesujis not present in english litterature and lots of them seemed more "natural" to me than what I've seen so far. Those books really rock :-) (I've discovered recently that some of those wonderful pocket size japanese book can be bought through the Kiseido web site (look at NIHON KI-IN'S POCKET BOOK SERIES at http://www.kiseido.com/d.htm)).
The result was terrible for my luggage: I've made compulsory buying of 15 tesuji/fuseki problem books :-) Go books were already my addiction with french and english shelve only, you can imagine when facing a Japanese library. I haven't bought any tsume go book since I think the english litterature and the net are enough and especially I prefer a good realistic tesuji problem than an artificial tsume go one: it improves both your reading AND your sense of shape better I think. The book are even more useful when you can't read the given clue: sometime the situation is quite complex and only knowing that black begins you should guess if black cuts, lives or escape...
- Kyoto games
To be written
- Hiroshima games
To be written
- Tokyo games
To be written
Big library offering large book collections Tokyo Kinokuniya Shinjuku, very close to the JR Shinjuku station, take the station south exit and you will be in front of a very big store complex: one of them is Kinokuniya.
Kyoto Jukundo Bookstore Kawaramachi-Sanjo Sagaru (this means south of Kawaramachi street and Sagaru street intersection) BAL building, 5th-8th floor
Comments are welcome :)