Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Last Saturday night we finally went to karaoke and it was fantastic. It was me, Craig, James-san from my Japanese class, and Natsuke-san James' coworker. The way it works here is you rent a room appropriate for your group size and only sing in front of your friends. There is also no stage, you just pass around wireless mics (which were packaged in plastic when we got there, cleanliness first). Our room was shaped like a space pod and even had neon light detailing. In the front was a big flat screen were the words would flash up, this is what everyone is looking at in the pictures. There were also images, usually bikini clad Japanese women frolicking on the beach; we've asked around and that's not uncommon - the images used, I don't know how often Japanese women frolic.

The top picture is Craig singing Paranoid by Black Sabbath. He even did an accent but said it was more Oliver Twist than Ozzy. I thought it rocked. James-san was clearly getting into it.

The first song of the night was our duet of Hotel California. We also did Rebel Yell, Smooth, and Paradise by the Dashboard Light (although it was edited down and I feel robbed). James-san, an Australian, picked songs by INXS and Men at Work.
Natsuke-san picked P-P-Poker Face, which we all joined in on, and a famous Japanese song the rest of us bopped our heads to. I can't wait to go again!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Inoshishi Matsuri (Prepare to have your mind cuteness blown)

Some of you might remember that we traveled to Sasayama months ago once I discovered there was a place that specialized in wild boar cuisine. Well, a couple weekends ago was an entire festival dedicated to Inoshshi. The festival consisted of two things - inoshishi races and food made with inoshishi.

Here is a ridiculously cute sight - a little dog dressed up as an Inoshishi. I asked his owner if I could take the picture using Japanese.

Three action shots of a race. The entire race track was probably only 50ft. The participants were actually baby inoshishi. The track was completely fenced in, it turns out inoshishi can jump pretty high. They began in a crate and had to run out a door onto the actual track when the race started. However, they never wanted to leave the box so it would take a few minutes after the starting gun (just a recording of the sound played on the sound system) before they appeared.

At a local souvenir shop there were piles of inoshishi inspired stuff to buy - these were the cutest.
Sweet bread shaped like inoshishi.
Less than half of the line waiting to buy roasted inoshishi.
And - roasted inoshishi. It looked pretty appetizing but not enough to wait in that line. We had inoshishi sausages and burgers instead. Those little babies were probably scared to leave the crate because they could smell their older brother on the spit.