I went back to Nagoya today, because even though I got sunburned, the festival was going to go on with or without me.
I rode my evil little bicycle to the station today, because even though it’s uncomfortable, it beats walking.
On the way to the station, I saw two guys riding on the same bike. Then I saw a police car pull them over, and 3 cops piled out to lecture and/or ticket them. Bad boys, bad boys… COPS: Okazaki!
After watching that action unfold, off to Nagoya I went.
Dashi and Kagura Parades
I managed to catch both the Dashi and Kagura float parades, and the childrens’ Mikoshi parade, as well as a parade for the sister cities, which I skipped. (Fast Fact: L.A. is a sister city to Nagoya.)
The Dashi are these giant floats on carts that have all sorts of bright decorations on them, and karakuri mechanical dolls on them that perform various little dances and act out plays.
They’re setting up the dashi floats now after wheeling them into the square.
As impressive as the plays are the people who have to turn the Dashi floats, which have wheels that don’t turn.
The Kagura floats are these floats that are basically drums with lots of gold ornamentation on them, and kids just beat the hell out of these drums with long sticks.
The Children’s Parade
Then came the kids’ parade. That was mostly lots of cute mascot-y things, and weird things, like a lion-dance-like shinkansen (bullet train).
And this rabbit-thing was cute:
Then there was an appearance by the Nagoya Fire Board Marching Band, and their color guard, the Lily Angels. They were all very good.
The Lily Angels:
I saw some cars and mascots with people from sister cities, and started to get bored and decided to move on to the park.
After the Parades, Wandering Around Nagoya
As I was heading to the park, I saw a building that was called the Robot Museum, and I was intrigued.
But apparently it had just shuttered its doors for good. Darn it.
They even bagged up the exhibits.
In the park there were a bunch of guys wearing 50s-style outfits, dancing. They even had the greased-back hair.
There were the usual festival stalls for stuff like taiyaki, takoyaki, and yakisoba, but I gave those a miss. (The guys are still dancing here.)
I liked the fountain in the park.
And you can see the Nagoya TV tower in the park as well:
On to Atsuta Shrine
Then it was time to head to Atsuta Shrine for a martial arts expo. Apparently they have mastered the art of hiding giant buildings by not putting up any signs near the respective subway stops. I saw signs for everything but the shrine coming out of the subway, so I wound up walking the wrong way for 10 minutes until I figured it out.
By the time I got there, I was fading, so I strolled around a bit, watched some Iaido, saw all the cute kids for shichi-go-san (a Shinto ceremony for kids aged 7, 5, and 3, hence the name shichi-go-san, which is Japanese for 7, 5, and 3) and I didn’t feel like taking pictures. The lighting was bad, and to be honest, I just didn’t feel like it.
I also skipped the omikuji (omikuji are paper fortune slips you can usually get at temples and shrines), because the I didn’t feel like jinxing myself when I’m not even one week into my trip.
IÂ headed back to Nagoya station, where I ate many tasty things (another chicken & egg sandwich and an iced cocoa, which were both delicious), then back home to ride the buttbuster 9000 back to the dorm.
Now I’ll do some laundry, some homework, and sleep.
Men’s Pocky Is Awesome
Oh, and I had a box of “Men’s Pocky” for dessert tonight. Don’t laugh. It’s awesome.
The chocolate is nice and dark, not too sweet, just the way I like it.
For those who don’t know, Pocky is a snack made of thin pretzel sticks covered with chocolate (and other things), and are laced with something akin to crack, because they are that addictive.
“Men’s Pocky” is made with a dark chocolate coating, because in Japan, manly men aren’t supposed to like sweet things. It’s, well, unmanly. Manly men should like bitter things.
So this is the candy for manly men… if manly men ate candy.
Unfortunately, they’re too busy eating rusty nails and the organs of weird creatures that taste like battery acid.
Because they’re manly!
I’m up to over 500 photos now, and it’s only been 4 days. I’m in trouble. Thinking of the photo editing alone makes me shudder.
Tomorrow is a rest/recovery day, with more classes. I don’t plan on doing much.
Thursday, I’m on my way to Kyoto to see some temples. I can’t wait for that. I’m going to hit all the highlights I can.
Oh, a postscript– I went to a drug store to pick up something for my sunburn, and to my great surprise, they sell topical prednisone cream over the counter. I found this out because I asked for something, and the pharmacist gave me some to use. (For those who don’t know, prednisone is a powerful steroid anti-inflammatory drug, usually only available by prescription in the U.S.) So now I have something else to get rid of before I leave Japan, I guess.
Remember– you can’t bring those sorts of things back to the U.S. without a prescription!