Awa Dance Update

Well, last night there was a duststorm which pretty much ruined my attempts at photography. Today it’s raining. This bad boy is the reason for the foul weather. My island (Awajishima) is located right under the eye of the storm shown in the last frame of the animation.
I’ll attempt to take more photos tonight, but I’m afraid they won’t turn out as well as I had hoped.
UPDATE: We got totally rained out. Life sucks. Lileks, stand down.

Kochi Trip Photos

kochi_robata.jpg
Our trip to Kochi was partly accidental; it started with a flat tire that I needed to replace. Kochi was the largest city around, we had thought about going earlier, and I knew there would be an open tire shop there if we hurried.
The local >Autobacs was indeed open, so while I negotiated for a pair of Dunlops, Nam used my laptop to look for a good hotel online. We stayed in the Comfort Hotel (related to the comfort Inn chain) in front of Kochi Station, which I would link except that their air conditioning really sucks (I think this is a large factor in how they keep their prices down), and this is an unforgivable sin in the heat of the Japanese summer. They are a new hotel and a deluxe double went for 8,000 yen, so I might try staying there in the spring or fall.
Anyhow, we checked into the hotel and went looking for a likely place to eat and wind down. Lo and behold, there was a little robata-yaki place next to our hotel, where you are served by the hosts with a long wooden paddle. The food was excellent – local and fresh.
Story continued in the extended entry…

Continue reading “Kochi Trip Photos”

Awa Odori – Trolling for Lileks

Tonight and tomorrow I will be taking photos of the Awa Dance here in Sumoto. If you are a Minnesotan named James Lileks who once wrote about the Awa Dance on your kick-ass site (The Bleat) quite fondly, or even if you aren’t, please check out the photos someday. I’ll try to make it worth your time, even if I’m not nearly worthy.
Some keyword obscuria, because history repeats itself:
Japanese dance
hands above

Just Say…

kochi_NO-DRUGS.jpg
Brought to you by the “Don’t Do Drugs Cuz It’s Cool and Cute Japanese Chicks Dig It” Foundation.
Note: I finished editing photos from our trip to Kochi prefecture today, but don’t have time to write the post. This photo didn’t really fit in with the others, so I’m posting it alone first. This poster was inside a sealed bulletin board in front of a police station. Needless to say, whoever designed it must have been smoking crack. Then again, maybe that’s the whole point… Not.

Cab Ride

On Monday, after saying farewell to Adam, Merin, Matt, and Kuniko in downtown Fukuoka, I jumped in a taxi and headed to the airport. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cabbie was a woman. This was a first for me, so I took full advantage of it and we had a long conversation all the way to the airport. She told me that she’d been a cabbie for twelve years, and the conversation kind of blossomed from there; she was one of those old pros that have interesting stories to tell, and drive a cab because it’s their calling in life.
That wasn’t the only nice thing about this cab ride, however. She knew the streets really well. At one point, approaching a long line of cars, she pulled a U-turn and drove through a housing area where the streets were so narrow there was no room for pedestrians – so she honked at them and they scurried into their little nooks and crannies! My kind of driver.
The fare was 2,090 yen. I gave her three 1,000 yen notes and told her to keep the change. It made her so happy, she almost started crying, in that “grateful grandmother” type of way.
As they say, sometimes it’s not where you’re going, but how you get there. What a great way to end my stay.