I took a bunch of photos for the parade, but there were so many that editing them will be a real chore. I’ll post them later. If you really want to see what the parade looks like, check out my 2007 Nagoya Matsuri Parade posts.
Since it rained like hell yesterday, all of the big parades for the Saturday portion of the Nagoya Matsuri were cancelled, and squashed into today.
The weather was perfect, too. So naturally, that meant that everyone was going to be crammed into the “best spots” for taking pictures and the like.
I tried to get there somewhat early, but my idea of early isn’t quite up to snuff when it comes to the idea of early here. (This is the “Land of the Rising Sun,” and I think some of the folks here take it to heart when it comes to these sorts of things.) My casual approach and my unfortunate height meant that I was in for it today.
As in 2007, the Kagura floats were fun to watch, but hard to take pictures of, because of my mortal enemy, the big floppy hats and prominent bald heads of the older segment of the population here. They had a knack for popping up at inopportune moments, but that’s just how it is here.
I’m tall, so people felt like they had some sort of mysterious privilege to just cut in front of me because they were short. What they didn’t realize is that they weren’t all that short, and wound up blocking my view, or screwing up my pictures.
More annoying than that were the security guards. Their job was to get in every other picture and screw it up. And when they weren’t doing that, they would just hassle people randomly for the sake of looking like they were doing their job, which is important when your job isn’t really all that necessary. It’s a parade in Japan, one of the safest countries in the world. It’s not like people are going to suddenly start acting up or anything. But they have to poke people and tell them not to stand there, or to move over, and so on and so forth. Because otherwise it doesn’t look like they’re doing their jobs, I guess.
But you just have to shrug it all off, or else you’ll go crazy and wind up getting arrested by the cop standing next to the security guard.
It’s just part of living here. Living here vs. other places is about making a set of trade-offs. If you want to live somewhere else, you have to make another set of trade-offs. You’re not going to find a tailored fit in an off-the-rack world. That goes for people and places.
Just like four years ago, I took way too many pictures. I’m pretty sure that editing them will be painful. (Note: It is. I’ve got it down from 500 to 98 photos.)
There were a few marching bands in the Flower Car Parade which followed, and one even had bagpipes. There were a few staged battles in the streets, and of course, Tokugawa Ieyasu ended things. The guy playing him was good, and said some funny things.
The Most Amazing Bus Station Ever
After the parade, I headed down to Oasis 21, which is a really fancy bus terminal, but it also has some open areas that were turned into an event stage and an area full of info booths from cities and prefectures from all over Central Japan.
First, I went to the rooftop area, a few floors above Oasis 21, which is a giant glass oval with a big fountain and pond in the center. It’s really interesting architecturally, and of course the views of the Sakae area of Nagoya are excellent.
Then I went down to the event area and looked around the booths, and talked to some people down there. That was a lot of fun. I got some information from the Aichi Prefecture people about some possible side trips, and some info from the Okazaki booth as well. There are so many cool places I’d love to go visit, but there’s only so much free time in my schedule, and frankly, only so much money in my budget.
Not to mention that some of these places are only reachable by car.
Travel in Japan can get expensive if you’re converting everything from dollars, and the exchange rate is only around 77 yen to the dollar. (And that’s on a good day.) It’s pretty painful.
After all of that, I grabbed my bag of pamphlets and headed back home. (Free clear file! And it has a strange local mascot character on it! Score!)