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Monthly Archives: October 2007

1. Cheese – I can get it but I can only afford it if I start working for the
pineapples. Well I can buy horribly rubbery cheese. And sometimes the urge
to eat mouldy milk i so great that I will even eat his. But man I miss
cheese.

2. Sausages – they only have hot dogs here. Oh, and Homo Sausage.

3. British Telly – I have being saying for years that I don’t really watch
telly and much prefer the radio. This is true. But now I’m missing Dragon’s
Den and that’s a whole different situation.

4. Brown Sauce – my bacon sandwiches are sad without it.

5. Gravy – I cannot begin to describe how much I miss gravy. I did a drawing
but it was so beautiful it broke the scanner. It is a deep sadness that
transcends art.

6. Things you can dry your hands with in toilets – i.e. hand dryers, towels
or paper towels. Some Japanese toilets have them, most do not. So you have
to sort of shake your hands and then try and dry your hands on your
trousers. Or else use your face towel. But then you feel sort of dirty the
next time you use your face towel to dry your face. Its a real social
dilemnia, I tell you.

7. Squash – you have to buy it pre-mixed here and it tastes like the drinks you
used to buy at school discos. The sort of plastic cup ones with the lid/seal
you pierced with the straw. Anyone know what I mean? Actually they weren’t
bad were they?

8. Lamb – apart from Hokkaido there aren’t any sheep in Japan. They have bears
though, and monkeys. Both of which are much more exciting but much less
delicious (I assume.) Although this isn’t a biggie because I missed that at
University too.

9. Bitter – Japanese beer is actually quite nice. It’s lager, but lager that
someone actually gave a flavour to. I’d still murder someone for a Black
Sheep though.

10. My girlfriend and my family – well obviously. Less than cheese though.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that was a long time without a post.

In my defence, I have been in a lot of pain. Allow me to explain.

This weekend I was convinced by the very persuasive and charismatic Brindley to buy an Air Soft gun.

For those not in the know, these are replica guns that use a motor or gas to fire BB pellets. You use them like paintball guns and go out into the woods somewhere to shoot your mates.

Not only did Brindley convince me to buy a gun he convinced me to play (which justified the expense of the gun somewhat) and this weekend me and bunch of others got dragged up a mountain in Hanayama to shoot each other.

All was well until Brindley suggested a game called sentry. The gist of which is that nobody has a gun except the sentry, and the sentry has a slow loading bolt action rifle. The sentry walks between 2 points defending a target. Everyone else has to touch this target.

Now there are 2 ways to do achieve this. The difficult but enticing method is to try and sneak up to the target, avoiding the sentry and get close enough to touch the target. The also difficult but probably more effective way is to just leg it anytime the sentry pauses to aim.If he isn’t aiming at you, and you jump around, he’s going to have a hard time aiming at you.

I tried to do the latter and forgot, in my mad dash to to the target, that I WAS ON A BLOODY MOUNTAIN!!!!

Basically as I ran downhill my top half began to go a lot, lot faster than my bottom half and I was faced with 2 options. 1, fall over and roll down a rocky, steep mountain. 2, aim for a tree.

I aimed for the tree.

It hurt.

Quite a lot.

Still does.

But worry not, nothing is broken, I can move fine and the pain is subsiding, hence my typing this tonight. But yeah, for the last few days my urge to blog has been overrun by my urge to lie on my couch and moan softly.

So here, at last is the long awaited conclusion to what I did the weekend before I decided to fall into a tree at high speed.

Having breezed through the more exciting parts of the trip here’s the rest of it. There isn’t much.

Having played with a spider and watched a man flush a toilet we decided to head back down the mountain to a waterfall shrine.

Waterfalls are considering purifying in Shinto. Adepts used to stand underneath them and attempt to meditate whilst enduring the cold and discomfort. Consequentially nearly every waterfall in Japan has a small shrine set up. Usually this is rubbish. When I went to Kyoto a few weeks ago the guidebook advised me to head off to a waterfall shrine connected to a famous temple I was visiting. I was promised something out of the ordinary, something most tourists never see and something beautiful. I got a drainpipe.

No, I’m being serious, a drainpipe. After an exceedingly long and difficult hike we finally got up the mountain to find a small and very mucky shrine next to a drain pipe trickling some water. Clearly from the shape of the valley there used to be a waterfall here and one day it had dried up. But not content to let visitors down some natty monks had set up some kind of drainpipe to give the illusion of a waterfall. It was crap. Admittedly the view back down the valley was gorgeous but it was a big let down.

The waterfall shrine in Yamasaki was far from crap.

For starters it was a proper waterfall, tall, real water and with a proper river still flowing down the mountainside. It even had a little pool at its base that turned into a second smaller waterfall. And it was in a wonderfully leafy, scenic setting that was totally quiet. It was one of those moments where you think you’ve stepped into another world. Like you’ve somehow stepped away from Modern Japan with its constant background noise, smog, crowds and ugly, ugly technology and into the past.

The point about the ugly technology is true by the way. Japanese culture is obsessed with nature. All those ceremonies and mystic arts are all about finding a balance with nature. Ikebana, tea ceremony, Shinto, bonsai it’s all about communication with nature. Most schools have a small pond to allow some natural beauty into the space. But then if given the opportunity to entire spoil something beautiful with a great big lump of metal they don’t think twice. In the cities where the sheer mass of buildings, signs, adverts and exposed machinery and structures means you can’t see anything but meal and concrete its all very impressive and strangely beautiful. But out in the, frankly stunning, Japanese countryside it can be very annoying.

This is not a habit confined to the Japanese by the way, in fact they do a much better job of preserving scenic beauty than say, America or England. Its just more noticeable because it seems so contradictory.

Anyway this waterfall had none of that. It was idyllic and lovely and we stayed for quit a while, not doing much except admiring the place.

Oh and we played pooh sticks. I won.

When we finally got bored of that we went to a restaurant called “Joy Full” and Steve regaled us of the tale of his friend. A man that would rise at 3 am just to come and sit in Joy Full and drink coffee, everyday. This bloke was English and was so ratty looking he was, on more than one occasion, mistaken for a tramp by locals.

Inside Joy Full they had a big advert demonstrating 2 different ways you could order a hamburger and chicken. One had it smothered under tomato sauce and cheese, the other had it with a fried egg on top with rice and some teriyaki. The advert read “ITALY VS JAPAN”.

Now Japan, I love your food but honestly, who are you trying to kid.

Ah well I guess one missed day doesn’t matter much. At least my frequency is improving.

Anyway, as was mentioned in my monkey related post last weekend me and the actor David Bath went to visit Dave’s mate Steve in the frighteningly rural town of Yamasaki.

To be honest I did not actually think this was going to be much fun. The only thing I actually knew we were doing is looking at a bamboo forest and I had visions of pretending to be in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” that lured me to come. For the rest of the time I had no idea what was planned, but Steve had apparently given us a busy schedule.

We took the train to Himeji (which I didn’t realise was a big city. I thought it was just a famous castle. I really don’t know a lot about Japan do I.) and met Steve there to be driven to Yamasaki. DRIVEN mind you. Yamasaki appears to be the one place in Japan that can’t be reached by the train. It’s positively barbaric, I don’t know how people manage.

On the way there we drove past a couple of love hotels and the biggest Tanuki I have ever seen. Tanuki, for those not in the know, are Japanese mythological animals fashioned after the real tanuki or raccoon dog. Tanuki are friendly, fat, wear a straw hat, are usually depicted carrying a bottle of sake and a promissory note (like an I.O.U.) for the sake. If they put a leaf on their heads they can turn into anything they like, usually humans. They then try and by sake with money that turns into leaves shortly afterwards.

Oh and they have enormous testicles, which are apparently lucky.

When we got to Yamasaki and checked in, a process that apparently necessitated an explanation of where the café is that lasted half an hour.

“Come down the lift, step out the lift, then step forward and turn left and step forward again and there is a door on your left, go through it and step forward and remember to breathe turn left using the groups of muscles in your right leg, first lift your foot up, extend it, place it on the ground so that you should have legs stretched apart, then get your foot that is now some way behind the proceeding or right foot lift it up and extend it not just to match your right foot, although this is acceptable, but all the way past your right foot, continue with this process and you are in the café.”

Why did we have to go to a hotel? Well, because Steve’s room consists of a bed, masses of electronics and just enough space between the two to squeeze to the kitchen. It was one of those rooms where you’re slightly unsure if the floor is actually there. Oh and he had some pet frogs, and a dead pet beetle.

First stop, a local shrine. It seems that everywhere you go in Japan the first thing you do is go look at a shrine. Admittedly this was a very nice one, in a pleasant forest up a mountain. It had a lake outside it with turtles and was just generally very…shriney.

Oh, one thing. The pleasant forest did have signs up warning people not to step on the most dangerous snake in all of Japan, which lives here. Alas we didn’t see anything so exciting as an animal that could kill us. Steve has seen one in the past apparently, which spent the whole time Steve was there doing its best stick impression. The most dangerous snake in all of Japan is apparently terrified of everything and rarely bites things it isn’t trying to eat. Unless you step on it.

After the pleasant forest we went to one of Steve’s locals for dinner, consisting of a burger…..and rice. Something I mocked my friend Joe for eating for months. I still think it’s a weird combination. It wasn’t bad though.

Then we went to the monkey shrine. Words can’t do justice to monkeys so here are lots of pictures of them.

By now quite bored of looking at monkeys, and hungry, we set out for food at a local Izakaya, and damn nice food it was too. I had something called a dice steak. No, not diced steak. Rather you roll 2 dice and that’s how many pieces of steak you get. If you roll a double 1 they take a photo of you and put it on the wall. Now obviously I was hoping for an exciting result, either a double 6 or a double 1. Alas all I got was an 8, a fair bit of steak but not a great story.

We then proceeded (by now slightly drunk) to something called either a Gan Pen or a Kan Pen, basically Japanese speed dating. On one side of a table the girls, on the other the guys and every so often you move down. Now Steve, bless ‘im, has been trying to get his end away ever since his last girlfriend broke up with him. He’s a little bit obsessed by it even, and lots of the barmaids he knows in Yamasaki keep trying to set him up with women. So Steve had already been invited to this Gan Pen when he made his plans to invite us. In fact he had to ask permission to bring me and Dave along, which met the response.

“NO! If you bring the foreigners there won’t be any girls left for us.”

Fortunately Steve convinced the organiser that me and Dave had girlfriends (well we do) and wouldn’t take any girls. So we were grudgingly allowed in.

Now Steve did think that us three wouldn’t be involved in the actual dating business as such, but rather would be at a separate table watching Japanese guys try to use pick up lines (they’re remarkably unsubtle and I heard the Japanese word for cock more than once). No such luck, me, Dave and Steve all got seated at the table where the action was occurring and being exotic foreigners we drew more than our fair share of the attention. Something that was visibly pissing off the Japanese guys there. Steve was loving it though, and got 2 numbers.

Oh and I ate something called soft chicken bone, or chicken’s knuckles. Ready for it. Fried, battered chicken gristle. Now some JET’s had told me bout this beforehand and my reaction, like any sane persons, was, urgh! But actually they’re not that bad. I wouldn’t ever buy them myself but when they were in front of me….well I couldn’t stop eating them.

I will say this, all the asian JET’s absolutely adore them.

So having probably screwed up some desperate Japanese blokes attempts to pull we made our way to a “snack bar”.

Now at this point I should own up that I did know one thing about Yamasaki before I went there.

It is crawling with the Yakuza, or as Steve calls them to avoid saying the word yakuza, pineapples.

Now I have never, ever in my life been faced with a situation where I was in danger of meeting a gang member. Let alone someone belonging to an internationally famous criminal gang, and Steve was planning to take us to a bar that they run, quite openly apparently. The Yakuza are like a lot of Japanese “problems” an open secret. Everyone knows they exist but everybody, EVERYBODY pretends that they don’t. The Yakuza speak their own version of Japanese which is used in films bout the Yakuza, but if pressed a Japanese person will always say that they couldn’t possibly understand what is being said in those films.

Now the pineapples do generally restrict violence just to other pineapples. Nonetheless I wasn’t really in any mood to meet any pineapples, but according to Steve if you want to drink in a decent place in Yamasaki you need to go to a pineapple bar. So off we went.

“Snack Bars” are fairly cheap to buy beer in but give you a bowl of peanuts which can cost anything from 2,000 Yen to 20,000 Yen depending on how much the proprietor likes you. Fortunately the landlady, Miyuki, likes Steve a lot so she totally waived the snack charge and just let us drink as normal. In fact she dropped the charge for Karaoke too so she must like us.

Miyuki is one of the most outgoing Japanese people I have ever met. She’s loud, brash, rude and very funny. And according to Steve the most perverted Japanese girl ever. On one of his first nights in the bar he got a back massage from one of the barmaids. Miyuki called out from the bar, so that the whole room could hear, “she also does good dick massages too Steve”.

She was apparently on her best behaviour when we went, but she did do cheeky girls on the karaoke.

And what a karaoke! It had a feature called “pervert mode” that rated your singing performance and then stripped blocks off a picture of a naked lady. The higher your score the more you got the see. My Score of 84 doing Elton John’s crocodile rock let me see some nipples but alas no one scored highly enough to uncover the downstairs departments.

By this stage we were well and truly hammered.

So of course the sensible thing to do is to recruit a load of Steve’s mates and wander up a mountain in the dark looking for Ghosts.

The Japanese lads with us did their very best to scare me and Dave, trying to convince us that ghosts were real and what we were doing was really dangerous (bollocks) and actually I think they believed it. Japan is quite a secular country generally but it is very, very superstitious and I think stuff like belief in ghosts is taken a lot more seriously than back home.

Still they weren’t taking it very seriously at all and were mostly laughing at the, by now totally gone, gaijin drunks.

I frankly was more scared by the mountain edge and the combination of alcohol and the dark meant my fear of heights kicked in big time and I did my best to keep everyone away from the edge. I realise I was being paranoid and annoying but I like to think my fears were proved right when Steve fell off the mountain.

Yes he fell of a mountain.

He went over a bandstand, which unbeknownst to him had a sheer drop behind him, fell down and landed on a hillside, twisting his ankle.

So by now, injured, scared, tired and very, very drunk Steve receives a call from the owner of another snack bar demanding that she pick us up and not letting Steve walk into town. Steve acquiesced and we descended to find a Jeep waiting to take us all back.

I have never been so sure I was going to die in all my life.

That Jeep was HURTLING down the mountain, in the dark, with no road barriers, in the dark, on a mountain!!! A MOUNTAIN! For the first time since I was a child I shut my eyes, held on for dear life and refused to open them until the Jeep stopped. Dave has a photo. The Japanese lads thought this was hilarious.

And this other woman, well I have no idea who she was but she was forceful. She all but made us go into her bar for another drink, a drink that, having just consumed heroic quantities already, and then having my stomach shaken violently in a Jeep, I really didn’t want.

I had it though and then next thing I know I am somehow back at the hotel and I go to bed.

The next day was infinitely more sedate. It was necessary, everyone was hungover. Everyone except bloody Steve.

Regardless, after a breakfast consisting of…um, tea, with cream in it, we set off to go up another mountain. This time on a monorail.

Apparently Yamasaki is trying to turn itself into something of a tourist attraction and has recently installed a few touristy things in order to encourage visitors. I would think a train stop would be the number 1 priority there. This monorail was one of them, along with a sort of ecologically friendly visitors centre at the top. When we got there it was hosting a gardening club and I assume it does other things.

The view from the mountain was phenomenal. I realised Japan was mountainous but I never realised just how mountainous it was. On all sides, for as far as I could see, it was just mountains. Stretching on to more mountains and yet more mountains. Hundreds and hundreds of them. It was beautiful and awesome (in the original sense) and just generally wonderful.

It was of course at that moment when the camera in my battery died.

Back in the visitors centre we amused ourselves by staring at the biggest most evil looking spider I have ever seen. It was yellow and black with a green body and a red head, poison colours if I’ve ever seen ‘em. Oh and it was very sharp and pointy. We three were all debating if it was poisonous or not when an old man picked it up in its hand and started using it to scare a small child. Well that was enough for Steve who demanded he got to hold it. We attracted a small crowd, mostly children and had endless fun trying to catch webs and then dangle it in the face of squealing delighted kids.

I tell you what, its webs were strong. Hours later Steve was still picking them off his clothing.

Bored of this we attempted to decipher what some of the signs meant. One was clearly demonstrating that the building used Solar Power. But another one, to do with water, was puzzling us. We all got that first few parts but there was one picture, with a tank filled with oysters that was confusing. Was it saying that oysters were used o filter the water? Well at that moment a helpful old man came over to explain what the sign meant. He started talking to Steve in Japanese and gestured at the toilet. He flushed the toilet, Steve left to go look at the Spider again and then the man looked up at me expectantly with a big grin on his face.

There is nothing quite so surreal as standing in a toilet cubicle with another man who has just flushed the toilet and is now smiling at you.

Which is all you’re getting tonight. Bed is calling me. I shall finish my Yamasaki adventure briefly tomorrow hopefully.

Oh my lordy, two posts in a row. Maybe I’ll actually stick to m supposed schedule this week.

Well stranger things have happened.

It helps that I have 1 class today, in 6th period, for which I have already made all the resources. So my day is relatively work free, annoyingly.

So as promised I shall explain what all the fuss was about on Wednesday.

It turns out that what I saw was called a Danjiri, a sort of mobile shrine that the kami at a shrine sits in to go walk (or rather be pulled/carried) around his territory. He does this to celebrate the harvest season and then when he is returned to his shrine everyone eats lots, plays rigged games and generally has a party.

As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post I had already been told about a festival happening at Kay Jinjya Shrine near my school. Leina had invited everyone in our ward to go on the Friday, then remembered that she has a Japanese lesson on Fridays and so switched it to Thursday, a day I couldn’t attend as I had an Elementary School visit on Friday and so needed all the energy I could muster.

So instead I convinced Ryan and David to come and we went to see what all the fuss is about.

I guess the closest equivalent to the festival is a village fete in England, only at night and as full of people as a space can possibly be full of people without all the air running out.

I can’t stress this enough, it was busy.

And unfortunately quite a lot of the people there were my students. Now Leina has warned us that our students would be there and she presented it as “a great opportunity to get to know your kids as real people.” Bollocks; it was a great opportunity to say hello and then stand around awkwardly trying to think of simple English questions to ask. And to do this fairly frequently.

I was also a great opportunity for my kids to try and get me to say “dondakee”. This is something a Japanese comedian does. He dresses as a woman, pretends to be a fashion icon, goes into shops, looks at the price and says “dondakee” which means basically “what’s that?” It isn’t even remotely funny but for some reason many, many, many Japanese people think it is and do it randomly in the street. My kids have been obsessed with trying to get me to say it. I said it once before Sports Day and now every time they see me the boys try and get me to say dondakee. The prospect that something is funny once but not a million times hasn’t really occurred to them.

Anyway much of the festival was spent by me awkwardly trying to talk to my kids an then refusing to say dondakee.

Fun.

Oh and because I took Ryan along and Ryan can speak Japanese we had the edge of knowing what they were saying about us. Ryan refused to speak in Japanese himself but he was translating what the kids were saying.

Notably one group of girls who giggled when I introduced Ryan and Dave and said “oh, he has friends.”

Ow girls, ow.

Other than talking to my kids the main thing to do there seemed to be to eat, so we did. Lots.

I had takoyaki, sort of octopus dumplings which most people think are sublimely delicious. I can take or leave them personally. They taste lovely but they have a texture that’s a little too squidgy and gooey sometimes.

I also had squid on a stick (Ikayaki) and some sweets. Notably toffee apples, shaved ice with syrup on it and a fish made of dough with red bean paste (an) inside it.

Dave had a burger on a stick…..only in Japan.

After you’ve gorged yourself the main entertainment comes from games, most of which are just variations on tombolas but some were quite interesting. One of the games had a tank of goldfish and would give you scoops made of very flimsy paper. The idea is to scoop up the goldfish without snapping the paper in your scooping action. Another game just involved a tank of eels and a fishing rod. If you caught the eel….you just through it back. Which is sort of symbolic of the very contradictory behaviour the Japanese have regarding animals. They love animals, they’re obsessed with nature and bringing it into their lives but they have absolutely no issue with hurting or confining animals whatsoever. Well culturally they don’t, I’m sure there are some individuals that take issue with it.

And then the main thing to do was watch the kami dancing. An activity which involved lots of very sweaty men shouting and heaving and lifting this enormous float (which had children inside). Now this was something worth seeing. This is basically religion in Japan. A fun spectacle that brings all the community together. The float itself is typical of the architecture and fittings in Japanese shrines, all intricate patterns in gold and red, and but for the fact that I’m a little bit shrined out at the moment would have been stunning looking. But the way they made it dance was certainly a spectacle, really exciting and invigorating.

And once we’d seen that a few times we went back to the gorging and then proceeded home.

Short post tonight as I am sick as a dog. I really do want to get into the habit of doing a post every night though (except weekends) so here is a video to entertain you all.

But first the backstory.

Me and David Bath (usually referred to as “the actor David Bath”. Which is a great nickname but a bit difficult to type every time) went to vist David’s mate Steve in Yamasaki. Yamasaki is pretty much the middle of nowhere, so far away from anywhere else in fact that you can’t even get there by train. This is simply unthinkable in Japan. It is bloody bueatiful though. A small town (well officially it’s a city but it really isn’t) surrounded on all sides by mountains. Even if you climb up the mountains all you can see for is yet more mountains stetching into the distance. It’s got phenomenally nice views.

But the main reason we went there is that Steve is lonely because he doesn’t really get along with the other Gaijin in his town. Thus he doesn’t get a chance to speak English much unless he comes to Kobe or Osaka to meet Dave or his other friends. For a change we went to visit Steve and had, unexpectedly, a really fantastic weekend.

The highlight of which was easily when Steve took us to a monkey park. Now when I say monkey park I don’t mean some sort of fenced off area. Oh no. This is a shrine, up a mountain and all around it are monkeys roaming freely. You can touch them if you want, and they can touch you.

And rather stupidl Steve had wandered up there eating a bag of pretzels.

The monkeys wanted the pretzels.

Now unfortunately the video doesn’t really demonstrate quite how scary this was. The monkeys really were screaming at Steve and were trying to surround him on all sides. They were clearly scared of him as every time he moved they backed off but we were a little bit scared of them too. I mean who knows what a monkey is going to do. They genuinely were trying to grab at the bag and were getting very close. Eventually Steve confused them by putting the prezels inside his shirt, a technique that totally fooled the monkeys which then lost interest in us entirely.

Oh and I found out what the float thing was all about earlier in the week. I shall be posting all about that tomorrow night. After that more stuff from this weekend including lots more monkey videos.

First off I’m sorry that this blog has been updated a lot less frequently than initially promised. But I don’t think I have any regular readers anyway.

However what happenned today was more than enough inspiration to pick up the old quill and do some writing.

So to set the scene, there I was, waiting for a bus as per normal when I noticed that a lot more people were hanging around the bus stop than normal.

Now normally I do talk to some of my students after school at the bus stop but this time there were loads of them.

And some parents, at least I assume they were parents since they kept talking to the kids at the bus stop.

Now one parent in particular seemed very excitable and was trying to tell me something. Unfortunately she doesn’t speak any English. So she was trying to convey this message through a combination of generally very excitable, and because it was excitable, quite quick, Japanese and her daughter.

Now her daughter eventually gave up and just started repeating one word at me, matsuri.

So out I whip the pocket dictionary and one Kanji check later we have our word.

“festival”

No I happened to know that there was a festival being held tonight. And Thursday and Friday. In fact I was planning to try and make one of the other two nights. I want Friday because I have an Elementary school visit Friday so I need to be up bright and early, most people wanted Thursday. I of course told the parent/student that I was going to the festival tomorrow.

This caused yet more excitability.

Evenetually after a 5 minutes of conversing the group of students managed to put together the sentence.

“come here, festival”

Which I initially translated as 2please come to the festial but i then realised meant, “the festival is coming here” which I said outloud to cheers from the assembled students.

At which point the mother says “yes, the festival will come here at 4: 15”

………..why didn’t you just say that in the first place woman.

No sooner have I figured it out than I start to hear drumbeats in the distance.

thum

thum

thum

and then police start swarming onto the street armed with their odd lightsaber things. I get my camera out in readiness and what should roll down the street but this.

Which of course rolls straight past us.

But it then changes course and rolls back up the street and onto the main road. At which point me and dozens of children plus a few old blokes chase after it with cameras.

It was fantastic.

Here is the video I took.

This is the sort of thing I love about Japan. The random and incongruous mix of the old fashioned, artistic, spiritual and very naural with the modern, functional and futuristic. The best image I had up until this point was a Buddhist monk in a yukata riding a moped but this easily takes the cake. Where else in the world can you be waiting for a bus and suddenly be in the middle of an ancient street festival.

I have no idea what the matsuri was in aid of. If I had to guess I would say they were taking a local kami for a bit of a walk. I shall ask tomorrow and try and find out.

Until then I leave you with pictures that I never in a million years imagined I would take.





Yay! I figured out how to host videos finally. Okay to celebrate here is a somewhat amusing video of many students and one of my JTE’s (Kosuga Sensei) doing a sort of warm up dance. I couldn’t help it, watching this I had to giggle.

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