Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week #5

Last weekend (July 16th) Ryan and I hopped on a bus and traveled 3 hours south to a big city called Kita-kyushu City. In the city, a drum festival was being held where people would celebrate by eating food and banging on drums. The moment Ryan and I got off the bus at 2 o’clock in the afternoon the sun was scorching hot and causing us to perspire more than what we wanted. We walked around the festival area for a bit, but not much was going since the festival technically didn’t start until 4. To get away from Japan’s humidity, we found a mall close by where we could buy food. After eating, we walked around the mall for awhile but we found nothing that interested us. Many of the stores in Japanese malls are expensive, and I rarely fit into anything the stores have to offer. As Ryan and I moped around the mall we eventually made our way to the 5th floor where we thought we may find a movie theatre. To our luck we did find a movie theatre and we were both curious to see if the new Harry Potter 7 part 2 movie was playing. We found that it was, and to our luck again it was playing in 15 minutes in 3D! Now Ryan and I pondered whether it would be a good decision to skip 3 hours of the drum festival. Here were our thoughts…
 Drum Festival Positives                                                                Drum Festival Negatives
*Eating Japanese Food                                                  *Missing the wand scene between Harry and Voldemort
* We wouldn’t have wasted our $30
* Experiencing Japanese culture we would not get in Iowa

We thought about our options for about 1 minute and came to a decision. Our decision of course was to skip most of the drum festival and go to the Harry Potter movie. Before buying our tickets we made sure to ask more than once if this movie was in English because we were not going to pay to see Harry Potter speak Japanese the entire movie. Harry Potter ended up being an extraordinary movie with two thumbs up! I loved every minute of it and it was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.

After the movie Ryan and I still had about 2 hours before we left, so we did get to experience the drum festival for a little while. By experiencing it I certainly mean eating all different types of food the festival had to offer. The first food I ate was like a pancake made of cabbage, flour, eggs, and water. This pancake is called okonomiyaki (meaning “what you like”) and you can either grill or fry it. Mine was wrapped on a stick and it tasted pretty good. It was not a type of food I would eat every day though. Minutes later I purchased a chocolate covered banana with a face design that I thought was cute. A little later I bought a green slushy and fried chicken on the stick. The foods you could choose from at the festival can ranged from grilled octopus, to fried/grilled chicken, okonomiyaki, French fries (very expensive!), to fried squid. One of the most interesting stands at the whole festival was a place where you could buy huge bugs and keep them as pets. I didn’t think people actually did this but later I sat by a little boy who had a huge bug by his side ready to take home as a pet.

                                                                      Eating the Cute Banana

                                                                         Eating okonomiyaki

                                                                          The bug store

Ok, enough about the food; I will now actually talk about what people did at the festival. The festival was like a parade where teams of people dressed in kimonos held big drums and sang a chant. Each team wore different colors and each team I believe banged to a different song. Each team walked through the middle of the festival and it was neat to hear the music and see all the different people carrying their very large drum.

                                                                  Ryan in the drum crowd
At about 7:30, Ryan and I headed back for the bus to end the day. Even though we didn’t get the full experience of the drum festival, we still got our share of food, Japanese music, and of course HARRY POTTER!

No comments:

Post a Comment