Tales From A Broad

My year of teaching English in Japan is up. Next mission: backpack Asia before going home to the U.S.A. Currently HOME!





Sake festival in Hiroshima

One of the perks about living in Japan is the amount of festivals held all over the country, throughout the year. So far, the best one I've attended was the sake festival this weekend in Hiroshima. Part of the 'Guch crew (Justin, Stirlo and Pete) met up with the Hiroshima lot for the day. 1500 yen (around 15 bucks) got you over 900 types of sakes to sample, from all regions of Japan. You could try the sweet kind, dry, spicy, bitter, flowery...anything. I've never had anything against sake back in the States, but it never was my choice of drink. This festival made me reconsider. This is a pic of Justin and I enjoying ourselves, but also realizing the state of our pitiful existance after about 4 hours at the festival. Justin is another JET in my town who I hang out with a lot. He's from Australia and has traveled the world like no other: 40 countries to be exact. The story of when he fell asleep in Australia and found himself in New Zealand the next day is a doozie. He is my traveling mentor and an inspiration.

I still can't get over how nice the Japanese come across. Even though these workers are supposed to hide behind this glass divider, they couldn't refuse us foreigners. We started the day meeting some people who work for Delta, whish essentially is anotehr title for "getting paid to travel." While they live in Guam now, one of the guys is originally from Deltona, Florida. What r the odds of that? Southern accent and all, smack in the middle fo Hiroshima.

I haven't touched on Japan's infactuation with being and looking "cute." I'm talking little boy/girl cute..even if you're 50. I'll leave that for another blog entry, but this pic is a good example of that. The drunk sake bear. Cute, inebriated and hairy. Like any other proper Japanese festival, there was fried octopus balls, green tea ice cream, skewered chicken on sticks and cold noodles, among other things. What I love the most is that festivals here aren't about being one big party. Instead it is one of the rare times that families can actually enjoy a day together. The men aren't in business suits, working and the children aren't in school. I imagine that it is one of the few times that children truly can bond with their fathers (the mothers usually aren't the issue becuasemost of them become homemakers once they become pregnant for the first time). So, they lay a blanket on the ground and enjoy the day.

These guys are some locals we met. The one on the right is a pro dancer in Tokyo and was visiting his friend on the left who lives in Hiroshima. Casey, the ringleader of the Hiroshima JETS, is in the middle. The Tokyo dancer later took a big group of us to a club in the heart of the city lights. Little did we know that the club would soon be filled with American Marines from the base in Iwakuni (less than an hour-ish away). Though I met a really cool Marine, most of them seemes to be scpoing out their prey: unassuming J-girls who would do anything to marry a Western man. The scene was quite sickeneg after awhile. After dancing and teaching salsa to Pete and Casey, we decided to call it a night. After a quick conbini stop, Lisa, David and I crashed at an internet cafe. And yet, another morning spent wondering, "why did we pass out here?"
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At 08:48, Blogger Turning Japanese said...

i love the pic of the 2 guys who are supposed to be hiding. great shot.
the cuteness is everywhere. amazing that no-one here ever grows out of it. that bear is a tanuki... have you heard of them? they are japanese and if you ask ajapanese person, they will call it a racoon dog. not really a racoon though...    



At 19:32, Blogger tito said...

thanks for showing me a great time at the club...im sorry i embarassed you on the dance floor...just next shake dat ass a little more

-marine    



At 23:23, Blogger Cee Pee said...

hahahah, tito..you're such a typical marine meathead!

ellen, i didnt know that that was supposed to be those tanukis that i see everywhere...but the statuues of them always look so fat and short..si wasnt sure if it was the same!    



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