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Jul
29

Summer Festival

Posted on Wednesday July 29, 2009 at 4:23am in ,

So, school is canceled for the rest of the semester. I went there on Thursday after hearing the news and everyone was wearing sick masks and you couldn’t get into the school without getting checked out first.

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This sign gives the details of the school closing.

Because I have no more class, I now have a lot more free time. There’s no internet in the apartment, so Nate and I spend a lot of time being bored there. On Friday after work, Asami came over and we went to buy our bus tickets for going to the airport on Saturday (yes, I leave Japan on Saturday afternoon!) I did some souvenir shopping for my family, and we ate, rented some movies and came back. We were planning to do karaoke that night in a big group, but the weather was pretty awful so no one felt like going out. Instead, we watched some movies with Nate. We got some real winners… Dragonball Evolution, Shoot ‘Em Up, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Dragonball Evolution:

Nothing about this movie was good, so this should be pretty short. It was at least entertainingly bad, as I had hoped it would be. The only problem is now I would like to see a good Dragonball movie. I think this movie pretty much ruins any chance of that happening, though.

Shoot ‘Em Up: Didn’t like this a bit.

Nick and Norah: Awful.

As you can see, none of them were very good. I wouldn’t recommend any of them to anyone.

On Saturday Asami and I went to the arcade and we won some kissing octopuses:

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チュッたこちゃん

We did a lot of souvenir shopping after that for my family. I got a lot of cool things, I think. For the most part, that shopping is done…all I have left to get is some food and drinks.

When we got back that night we went to do karaoke since we never got to go on Friday. Nate, Tami, Josh, Misaki and Miki also came. George showed up with Megumi later. We did two hours of karaoke and it was a lot of fun. We went to McDonalds for some ice cream after. On the way home, Asami and I stopped at the video store to get some movies. We mainly got Japanese movies this time: Happy Flight, Death Note II, and Babel. We watched Happy Flight that night. It was a Japanese movie I hadn’t heard of, but Asami said she had wanted to see it. As it turns out, it wasn’t very funny at all, unfortunately.

Sunday. The day of the big festival down at Dejima. We woke up to the sound of rain, so I was already concerned about the weather. But, the festival wasn’t until night, so there was still time for the weather to clear up. We started the day with some lunch, and then watched Death Note II at Asami’s house. It was okay, not that great. A lot gets lost in translation when going from animation to live action. But, at least they tried. They did a better job than Dragonball, I guess. Asami changed into her yukata, which took an hour or so. But, it looked great when she was all dressed up! From Asami’s house, we went over to my apartment to put on my jinbei.

Here we are!

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Asami in her yukata, me in my jinbei. Traditional Japanese festival attire.

Fortunately, when we stepped outside to leave for the festival, the weather had miraculously cleared up. It didn’t rain a drop after we left. The trains were really crowded getting down to Dejima, and a ton of people were dressed up. It seems like all of Nagasaki was going to the festival.

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Arriving at the festival.

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A very festive atmosphere awaited us. We bought ice cream here.

All of the prices were incredibly steep. 500 yen for a stick of yakitori is ridiculous. A stick of yakitori is barely any meet, and 500 yen is nearly 6 USD. We avoided buying much. After getting some ice cream, we went to find George, Nate, and our other friends. They were already waiting on the other side of the park for the fireworks to start. They had taken some great seats much earlier, so we got lucky.

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Megumi and her “important spray.” It’s bug spray, by the way.

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Asami and I.

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People and shops as far as the eye can see. In the distance, mount Inasayama.

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Nate, lying down, getting ready for some fireworks.

As it turns out, yesterday’s weather was too bad to launch Saturday’s fireworks so they decided to launch all of the fireworks from the day before along with the ones for that day. So, we got a double show. Let the fireworks begin!

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The fireworks starting.

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So bright.

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Ooh, Aah.

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Pretty.

The fireworks were pretty enjoyable, but what was even more enjoyable were the girls behind us. Their commentary on how amazing the show was was a little over exaggerated. I took a minute-long video of the show, but I didn’t pick the greatest minute… my timing was a little bad. George took a much better video, but I don’t have that, so deal with this one. It shows some good fireworks, and you can even hear a little of the girls behind us followed by our laughter.


The festival was a lot of fun. The best part was getting to wear the festival attire. Although the wooden shoes got to be a pain on the train ride back… It was definitely a lot of fun. It’s too bad Megumi, George and Nate didn’t dress up, but they were still in a very festive mood. This was my first festival experience in Japan. I would love to do it again.

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