Saturday, September 1, 2007

Damnation, I Forgot My Camera!

I was roused from my slumber by the phone ringing. It was about 8:15AM, and I rasped hello into the mouthpiece. On the other end was a local JET (Japanese English Teacher, part of a government-sponsored program), asking if I wanted to go to a culture festival at the high school she teaches at. Normally, I run as fast as possible from "cultural" things--the word makes me think of boring museums and ancient pottery sitting inside a glass case. Besides, I was going to a ramen shop with my boss, so I thought it was a moot point. Apparently I was the only person who could possibly make it, and after some mild arm twisting I agreed to go. It turned out to be a very good decision.

I had 20 minutes to shower, dress, chug a pot of coffee, and bike over to the meeting spot. I barely made it on time, but forgot my camera. So of course I saw the most bizarre stuff yet.

The cultural festival was half cultural stuff like calligraphy and paintings, and half random Japanese festival craziness. The best parts:

1. 6'3'' Japanese guy with Darth Vader helmet, full-size cow costume, and a stuffed horse head attached to his crotch.

2. A "haunted house" which involved wriggling commando-style through pitch blackness with no direction through a claustrophobic maze some students set up in the gym. There was maybe one rubber severed head, but the whole experience left me unafraid and sore.

3. Another tall Japanese guy in a bright red spandex outfit with a giant question mark mask over his face and a golden faucet attached to his crotch. Crotch modification seemed to be a theme with the costumes.

4. Crappy Japanese high school rock band performances. Like crappy American high school rock band performances, but with more style and eyeliner.

I spent the rest of the day hiking, onsenning, and eating. Here's a picture dump from after I picked up my camera:

Zieg Heil, let's go for a hike! Nope, it's the Buddhist version. The hills are safe from Nazis.

Uncle Rico heard there was a high school culture festival. He's rushing to make sure no one turns 18 on him.

One of the beaches we went to today. It had a Pacific island vibe to it...wait just a minute..

This little bay was protected from typhoons and Godzilla attacks with these weird stone structures.

Doesn't this picture, like, totally make you think you're gonna fall in?

Well, that was a lot of pictures. I'm not changing the title of this post though--now it's just ironic.

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