Sunday, 28 July 2013

Dancing in the Rain

A sudden down pour has ruined a lot of festival events around Tokyo area yesterday.

The thunder and rain can wash away the crowds in seconds, can wasted the effort of school's children who practiced hard for the dance; but the rain can't wash away the spirit of the people. 

The scene of crowds rushing for a shelter is noting pretty. Not for this 2 girls. They were dancing in the rain - enjoying themselves.

When we were caught in an inevitable situation, instead of complaining, why not embrace yourself into it?

Life will not be interesting without bumps, right?  

Have a nice weekends! 

Dancing in the Rain




Monday, 15 July 2013

Catching Up: The Festival

Japan is a country with various kind of festival all year long. Most festival is organized by a local Japanese shrine, but a lot of the participants are not attending for any religious purpose. Most of them are locals who treat the festival as local community events, tourist, foreigners, photogs, and also some "Festival Otaku" who will track down every single festival around the country.

みたままつり(Mitama-matsuri)
This is one of the biggest obon festival in Tokyo. And the venue is the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. The shrine which paying tribute to WWII war criminals, is the pain in the ass for regional politics. Japanese politician need it to gain support of nationalist and show how they won't compromise on foreign's political pressure from China or Korea.

But who cares about these argument anyway? Personally I think we should move forwards, unloading the historical burden. And anyone who still playing the WWII cards is a lunatic playing fires who put personal political gain above all.

And I guess 99% of them who flock the shire during the 4 days festival, don't care at all. They went there for street food, for summer, for fun and for entertainment. Of course you still can spot some lantern with controversial images and phares but let's ignore them. The world will be a better place without noticing them :)

If you are reading this post now, the festival last till 16th July! You no need to wait for another year to visit it!

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Up next 下町七夕まつり(Shitamachi-Tanabata-Matsuri)
7th of July, a religious celebration in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan. Origin from China with a folklore love story of the weaver girl and the cowherd. The story was localized with a Japanese version with a main characters named Tanabata. I won't try to retold the story here, but in modern days,  the Japanese custom was to write wishes on a paper strips and tight them on the bamboo.

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かなまら祭り(Kanamara-Matsuri)
The most odd and strange festival I found in Japan, which worship manhood - the Penis. And this is a major tourist attraction now a days with thousands of foreigners including local of course,  flock into this small town parading along with 3 Penises around the neighborhood. The most jaw dropping one's is the Big Pink Penis carried by Okama dressed in pinky dress. And, you are right!! This one draws the crowds most! Anyway, I won't post too much photos of the festival here, one is that I din't get many good shots..you know sometimes photographers failed too. Another is that to keep the blog clean :) Just google "kanamara matsuri" and you will get what you hoping for for this festival.

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I like this last photo so much. The reaction of the girl facing a half naked man. You guess which way her eye goes to. :)


Catching Up: The Hike

Been lazy lately, I mean getting my ass down and putting a few words in this blog. I guess writing is kinda difficult to keep as a habit especially the mind is constantly occupied by works, daily routine, and all the minor details that we need to keep track on. Even if I have free time, I will choose to let the mind went totally blank, mindlessly focusing my eyes on the rectangular screen searching for visual entertainment.

All is bad excuses.

So here I am. Hide in my air-con room, hand on the laptop trying to stitch a few words up about recent happening. Knowing that I'm a terrible writer, I will keep this short and let the photos do all the talking.

I have been to a few hiking trip lately, some with a Meet-up group I found out on the internet and some with my colleagues and friends. I called all this trip my running away from Tokyo. Nothing wrong about Tokyo - a big city with lots of happening, but imagine you being trapped in this concrete jungle, and facing a computer screen almost constantly in the office, nature is what you crave for.

First Stop: 那須塩原 (Nasushiobara)
Starting from the visitor center of the national park, there are a few trekking route to follow on. You will be surprise to find open-air baths in the wild and people are actually using them, but of course only guys...it takes too much courage for girls to bath openly. So we can only let our imagination run wild :p

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Second Hike: 御岳山(Mitake-san)
This was an easy run away, just an hour plus train ride from Tokyo. Take the cable car and the mid way is the best starting point for the hike. Depends on your stamina, there also a few trekking course to chose to.

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The most recent run-away: 奥日光(Oku-Nikko)
600 meters height form the city center of Nikko. Oku-Nikko is famous for its chilly weather during summer days. Very well maintenance trek which is very easy to walk on...and to be accurate I can't call it a trekking course, a walking route should be a better term. :p

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