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Japan: A Blog (from the year 2005) pt 2 of 912.

The missing piece is filled.

So, I wake up my second day to find out that they're holding the Hanagasa Festival over the next 3 days in Yamagata.

The Hanagasa festival is some sort of festival involving flower hats, dancing, and everybody in town being in a parade. For 3 days straight.

It starts at 6pm each night and runs till about 9pm. Unfortunately, it's only 9am right now, so we've got a whole day to cover so far.

So, we start off looking around for things to do early in the morning, like shopping, eating breakfast, and taking pictures of old things that hold no meaning to me since I don't know Japan's feudal history.

First up was Kago Park.

This park is actually a retired castle. The grounds (not the castle) are open to the public and you can walk around and look at things like gravel, statues, and houses.

for a sense of scale, Fenris is standing in the middle of this structure. He's 5'10".

Nearby the actual castle is the very first hospital that was built in Yamagata. You can tell they implicitly trusted modern medicine because they adorned it with wiccan symbols.

Yes, there is a pentagram in the middle of that window

Also nearby was a statue of the very first Samurai to be able to ride a horse on two legs.
There's Japanese efficiency for you in action.

After hitting the park, we cruised by Tully's Coffee, the closest thing to a Starbucks in town. The Japanese don't believe in breakfast. They believe the first meal of the day should totally bypass delicious foods like waffles, sausage, bacon, or omlettes, and jump straight into nasty shit like seaweed, miso soup, and hard boiled eggs and fried squid.

I think the Trix rabbit would have a fucking horrible time trying to convince me that fried squid is part of a nutritious breakfast...

So, across from Tully's was a local knickknack shop with a very unfortunate name.

The name translates to "Chi-chi Ca=Ca" I'll let your mind wander from there...

From Breakfast, we headed over to the local department store. The store has a movie theater in the top floor, and we got to go see Episode 3.

Little known fact: In Japanese, everything Yoda says makes total fucking sense.

We cruised the store looking for cheap shit to buy. They have a 100Y store there, which is basically a $1 store. The 100Y store is awesome. It actually has REALLY cool shit there. Not like Crestor cyanide flavored toothpaste and Chinese lead paint toys, no, like real china sets, ornate bathing supplies, umbrellas, and scented folding fans.

This is their exit floormat, thanking you for shopping. AGAIN!

We found a few interesting departments in the store.

The Pokemon department.

The arcade floor. (all video games!)

The creepy mannequin aisle for kids.

And the most unusual department... The hentai video game department.

The hentai video game department has 4 aisles full of PC games for people who have no life, no chance of meeting the opposite sex, and stacks of cash for interactive cartoon porn.

After spending way too much time in the hentai game department, we left, and got to see preparations of the Hanagasa festival. Apparently it involves sitting on tiny chairs. REALLY tiny chairs.

And then we found the beer vending machine. Oh sweet mercy. A machine that will serve you beer, as much as you desire, at 200Y a can. Get this, they have a beer there that has no hops in it, so it's not exactly a really dark or bitter beer, but it'll get you fucked up for cheap. How cheap? 100Y a can. That's a $1 a can, folks. Tastes like Coors or Miller Lite.

So, about then, the Hanagasa festival was getting into full swing. How does it work? Well, there's this flower hat thing...

And you're going to dance with said hat, men and women, in a dance that's very reminiscent of the line dance that accompanied "Achy Breaky Heart" in the 90's. The song they play is an ear splitting tune sung by a girl, that's about 17 minutes long. After the song ends, they have the exact same song play again, this time sung by a guy. 17 minutes later, after the men's version is over, the parade stops for 3 minutes. Then it all starts up again. Girl version, guy version, pause for 3 minutes. This carries on for 3 hours until the last float goes through town. People cheer like mad for this because EVERYONE in town participates in this thing.

Local Girl Scouts doing the Achy Breaky

Local Junior Ninjas doing the Achy Breaky

Darth Vader doing the Achy Breaky

And you see that there are people that wear kimonos, too.

Pair of gals on their way to a local bukkake festival

I found out that you are not supposed to eat these things called Taco Balls. Taco balls are not actually mexican food. They're pressed squid balls. Not testicles, but ball shaped squid treats. Like chicken nuggets but foul smelling.

Not at all what you'd want when you hear, "Taco-yaki" come out of someone's mouth.

So, to wrap up the evening, I was given an ice pick by a local in a restaurant and told to show everyone how crazy Americans can be. (continued in part 3.
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About BluDesignone of us since 11:49 AM on 11.10.2006

I own a FamPuter, which is a 100% fake Famicom. And I do own Super Mario Bros. and Rockman 2 for it, which you don't. :P

I'm a 34 year old gamer. I cannot hang out with most of you, and you should not contact me to buy you cheap wine or cigarettes. I do not like jail. Seriously, I own all three consoles and I don't discriminate. Gaming is for fun, not for sissy slapfights. If you consider yourself partial to a particular console, I don't care why you don't own other consoles, I don't want to hear about it. If you're going to bitch about something, you'd better bring some hard evidence of why you're complaining if you want to cry on my shoulder.

Enjoy this wonderful picture of 2 generations coming together at last...

PS - I eat trolls.

PPS - I've been to Japan. Maybe you've heard about it? If not, read up here:

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Yamagata's Hanagasa Festival
Part 3: Harajuku Girls and the lack thereof
Part 4: You're not in Kansas anymore, Niero (TGS07)
Part 5: Fresh from the farm to your mouth
Part 6: Going to Japan is hard
Part 7: 30 days takes forever
Part 8: Rape, Rocks, and Alliteration
Part 9: Small Town Nightlife
Part 10: Bling Bling, Hundred Thousand Yen Bill Ya'll
Part 10 Part 2: Mount Yamadera
Part 11: The Japanese Wal-Mart
Part 12: Goin' Down to Tokyo Town
Part 13: Ghiblit Gravy
Part 14: Air Sex
Part 15: Ganguros of New Tokyo
Part 16: The Contest Announcement
Part 17: The Contest
Part 18: The Trip Itinerary
Part 19: Tokyo Day 2
Part 20: Tokyo Day 2 Part 2 (of 2)
Part 21 is no longer there, but it wasn't all that great anyway, so you're not missing out.
Part 22: Happy Picture Montage Time!
Part 23: I have arrived.
Part 24: I have returned.
Part 25: The Case for the American Cheeseburger
Part 26: Random pictures are random
Part 27: A Free Gift for Those Who've Been Paying Attention
Part 28: Nintendo, no seriously, NINTENDO
Part 29: Racists in Japan, Discriminating against the handicapped
Special Report from Cheapy D at CAG
Part 30: The Secret Truth About Japan
Part 31: Oz-Matsuri
Part 32: The Japanese Don't Have Antiperspirant Deodorant

Part 33: There's this Disney character named Stitch in Japan...
Part 34: Trainspotting: Live From Kyoto
Part 35: Kyoto for Beginners
Part 36: Kyoto Smash: Advance Lesson in Fun Time
Part 37: Some Japanese people are alcoholics
Part 38: Hardcore Otaku know where the real action is
Part 40: My attempt at getting the Oscar for Best Japanese Picture
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 42: I sneak into a movie studio to pitch my movie
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 43: My film idea is shot down in favor of yet another Power Rangers TV show
Part 44: Excessive Male Nudity in Japan
Part 45: The Japanese grocery store has no deli counter
Part 46: How the Japanese language is worked into Japan's society
Part 47: Izukayas and you: How the Japanese drink in public
Part 48: All you really need to know about the Tokyo Auto Show
Part 49: Gyudon Rocks.
Part 50: Tendo is the coolest place in all of Japan
Part 51: I really did poop immediately after that shot
Part 52: A Beginner's Guide to Tokyo Disney Sea
Part 53: There is no comparison. Cheeseburgers win.
Part 55: You've never had Tonkatsu, so you wouldn't understand
Part 56: Japanese iTunes for the Mac addict
Part 57: The other kind of Curry
Part 58: Popular Pop and "Lock" music in Japan
Part 59: I sing like how cats have sex
Part 60: The Iron Penis Festival
Part 61: A sad bit about racism in Japan
Part 9001: Electro Lemon's whirlwind visit to Tokyo
Xbox LIVE:metalocalypse
PSN ID:BluDesign
Mii code:5154504518393743


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