近海る (Kin Kairu)

JET, Japan, Journalism and other J words

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Sticks and Dicks

The wave comes again, like it had many times before. The pain on my feet, arms, and chest returns as bodies all around me squish my own, and I try to find open pockets to relieve the crunch. But you learn very quickly to become one with the flow, for if you don’t recreate the balance the only outcome is defeat. I push back with all that I can to make sure the people at the other end won’t be able to advance so easily, as they try to force themselves in the center of the madness.

The monk standing above us occasionally pulls out a ladle to throw water on us, and holds out his hands to give periodic signs as a countdown for the main event.

50 minutes.

30 minutes.

10 minutes.

5 minutes.

Then everything turns pitch black. The yelling gets louder. The sticks are dropped. The fight begins.

Such was the Okayama Naked Man Festival.

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CHILLING IN SAPPORO (Yuki Matsuri 2015)

Here I will not bore you with some in-detailed writing about the majesty of the snow sculptures in Sapporo, or how my trip to Hokkaido made me appreciate the snowy land of the North. I’m sure there are more than enough pieces of writing out there that do just that. For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to provide what I can: pictures. And the internet loves pictures! It’s a win-win for the both of us.

For three days I went to the infamous Yuki Matsuri, and also traveled up north to visit the light festival in Otaru. Below you will find pictures of the large snow sculptures, the excellent food I had (with links of how to get there!) and other interesting bits I came across. Enjoy!

The Snow Sculptures

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