Drinking, Celebration, and a Wordless Call

Wow. I have taken 80 pictures and videos since posting last. One downside to living in Japan like a real person and not a tourist is that you always have real person things to do. Setting up bank accounts, gas bill accounts, water, electricity, phone, working 10 hour work days. I’m not complaining, but I am pretty damn tired when I get home. So instead of a full-fledged post, I’m just going to dump some videos and pictures here with tiny explanations. Enjoy!

Shabu-Shabu Nomikai

My coworkers treated me to a Shabu-Shabu “drinking party.” I had an incredibly fun time. Shabu-shabu is my second favorite Japanese food. My number one favorite Japanese food is free Shabu-shabu, which this was! These people are incredible, really. Also, somehow, about 5 beers in my skill in speaking and understanding Japanese seems to skyrocket.

The meal is only as good as the company in which it is eaten, and this night's meal was superb.
The meal is only as good as the company in which it is eaten, and this night’s meal was superb. Apologies to the many people not pictured or poorly pictured due to the panorama.

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Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival)

I went to my ku’s Summer Festival (a ku is sort of like a county in America) last weekend. Got sunburned. Experienced many new things: giant drums, beautiful music, mikoshi (portable minature Shinto shrines) being paraded, dances, local foods. Too much to describe. I don’t even have time to rename the image files. Just have a look if you want; if a picture is worth a thousand words, you’re about to read a novel. Maybe a collection of short stories.

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A random shrine

I came across this shrine walking to a library. I love this country. Everywhere you go it invites you to pause and appreciate simplicity. Can such a place of serene beauty in the midst of human civilization exist anywhere else?

Adachi Fireworks Festival

This weekend I went to the first fireworks festival of Tokyo’s summer, the Adachi Fireworks Festival on the Asakawa river.


It was an hour-long show.

There were fireworks that looked like red hearts, umbrellas, smiley faces, stars-within-circles, Doraemon’s face. Think about that – somebody figured out how to make shapes made of fire in the sky. It lasted from 7:30 to 8:30 and I have honestly never seen anything like it.

Shapes in the sky:

About 15 minutes into the show:

The big finish:

If you’re in Tokyo and want to see more 花火大会 (fireworks festivals) this Summer, there’s a massive list of them at gotokyo.org.

Aside: “firework” in Japanese is 花火 (“hanabi“). 花 = flower and 火 = fire. So they’re fireflowers!

I just thought that was neat.
I just thought that was neat.