Pretty, pretty lights.

Sorry for missing Thursday’s post last week guys.

I’m going to defend myself on two accounts okay. Firstly I spent last Thursday sending Christmas presents and to most of yuo that read this that manes you directly benefit from my lack of blogging. Secondly I typed up a bonus post yesterday but my internet decided to go screwy and eat my typing.

Anyway as an added bonus to go with the rest of today’s post I HAVE A TELLY! This means I now have access to the gloriously insane world of Japanese television. As I type this my TV is on for the first time and I’ll be keeping you all updated on whatever madness comes on screen.

Already in the time it took to type that the news showed a “handball” game. A sport I wasn’t sure actually existed.

So what have I been up to then. Well on Sunday Night I went to go see the Kobe Luminare, the biggest and most famous festival in Kobe. They started it in 1995 to honour the anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. It consists of some really elaborate and orante Christmas lights which were donated to Kobe by the Italian government. Really they’re just a set of glorified Christmas lights but they’re quite famous and as I live in Kobe I thought it would be a shame to miss them.

And I’m really struggling to type at the moment because I’m very distracted by some kind of Yoga-themed game show and….

This is truly surreal. The guy doing David Tennant is utter crap but the voice of K-9sounds exactly like the original, and Rose just sounds….odd.

Anyway back to the Luminare.

So firsly I have to stress that I had to queue.

… and queue

….. and queue. For a long time.

And it wasn’t just that I was queuing but that we got herded like human cattle all around the city in a big loop. It was the city wide equivalent of when you go to a theme park and think that you’re nearly at the ride. Then you turn the corner and realise you have a whole room of zig-zagging barriers to get through first. It even had those barriers.

One thing the queueing emphasised too was quite how many people in Japan. I’m always aware that Japan has a lot more people living here than in anywhere I’ve lived before. Hell whenever I need to cross the road in Sannomiya there are always close to a hundred people waiting to cross at the same time.

However that’s nothing compared to the crowds whenever there’s a festival. Simply put you don’t realise how many people live in Japan until they all try and go to the same space.

Anyway I didn’t much mind the wait. This being Japan plenty of enterprising people were selling things in the queue and I bought a coffee to warm my hands and settled into a gentle wander. Enjoying the brisk air and the lights and sounds of the city.

Besides there were plenty of sights on the way.

Sorry for the poor quality pic. You can just about pic out the Anchor that’s been set up to look as if it was some kind of giant anchor on the mountain.

And this would be one of my favourite shop names in Sannomiya.

And when I finally got to the lights well….

I thought they were worth the wait.

I stand by my statement that they’re just glorified Christmas lights but they were worth seeing all the same. They are gorgeous, and I love the way they seem to float in the air without any visible means of support.

What did surprise me was that the Luminare was more than just the lights and actually had a proper festival attached.Now festival in the Japanese sense usually means 10 billion stalls crammed into one place selling an enormous variety of food. The form seems to be to eat constantly whilst looking at whatever visual attraction is the excuse for the festival. So not wanting to break with tradition I set out to get fed.

Amongst the foods on sale (alongside the game and toys stalls) were yakitori (various kinds of fried food on sticks), kebabs of various kinds, inuyaki (flattened fried squid on a stick), barbequed corn, noodles, doriyaki, sweet potatoes, hot dogs on sticks, lots of sake, some beer and some coffee and candy strawberries, a bit like toffee apples but with strawberries, which to me seems a bit of a waste of a strawberry frankly.

Being me I opted for the takoyaki (octopus dumplings) and they were gooooooooooood. I also had some taiyaki. A bit like doriyaki this is anko in pancakey style dough. But unlike doriyaki the dough is shaped like a fish and it’s fried first. I also had some tasty little pancake balls which were incredibly addictive.

Suitably fed I had an amble over to the so called “event stage” and watched a female choir do accapella versions of Christmas songs. They were actually pretty good but as it was a Sunday I had to dash off and get some sleep.

Anyway this was mostly an excuse to show case pretty pictures so I hope you enjoyed them.

And on the telly is the fucking DONDAKEE transvestite. Apparently he’s won some kind of award. If I haven’t mentioned this annoying git on the blog remind me to because he is the bane of my existence.

Oh good he’s gone and been replaced by….I think another transvestite. Have I accidentally tuned into some kind of fetish channel?

And on that note, goodbye.

  1. the lights are fantstic, glad you have finally got a telly , but doesn’t look like you need it ! MUM XX


  2. Adam said:

    I mostly got it so I’d have a bigger screen than my laptop. Now I can run stuff on my laptop onto the bigger screen for having movie nights and the like.Plus I can buy and use a Wii now.The access to the vault of pure madness that is Japanese TV is just a bonus.


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