Ura Kunchi

As mentioned earlier, this weekend is the illustrious Kunchi festival: the festival of festivals. Mark had announced a timeline of events in class and tonight was Ura Kunchi. A festival of amatuers and other neighborhoods not scheduled to partipate in this year's event, but hold an event of their own for the gods. This was down at the Suwa Shrine, so brian and i left dance club earlier to go check it out. We stopped off at mcdonalds on the way down there..

This is what a japanese mcdonalds looks like by the way. Pretty much the same as an American mcdonalds, except in japanese and more expensive.

Anywho, we took the train car downtown and arrived at the Suwa Shrine. The Suwa Shrine was laced with paper talismen and glowing laterns. It was rather festive, as the times had called for. We made our way to the top, but were certainly aware of the inactivity. Nothing really seemed to be going on at the moment. In fact, the vendors weren't even selling anything yet.

We reached the summit of the staircase to an empty showcase where the ura kunchi was supposed to take place. This had certainly conflicted with our given information. We began to inquire as to the where abouts of ura kunchi. We asked a nearby police man why nothing was here. 30 minutes and bad japanese later, we were informed that no such event was taking place at Suwa Shrine. sigh....

Well... whatcha gonna do. Ura kunchi was a bust. Such a downer requires the consumption of alcohol. Brian and I hit the local convience store at the bottom of the hill and picked up a couple cans of the cheap, yet delicious Asahi. We also began filling out our Beer cards too. Most cans of Asahi have a little sticker placed on the outer aluminum shell. This little sticker is to be removed, and placed on a Beer card. Each beer card holds 36 stickers. A complete Beer card can be sent in for a chance to win 1 of 5000 TV watches! Duuuude. Whoever said that drinking beer didn't get you anything, was WRONG!

Anyways, with our beers in hand and cards stickered, we simply began walking around town since there wasn't anything else to do. We found a poster for the Densha Otoko movie. Unfortunately, all the movies inside this video store were mostly disney or at most PG. There was no porn, which i was hoping for. We also came across the kunchi festival grounds near the city hall:

We continued along the main road and came to Hananomachi. Walked around a bit looking for anything of interest. There was a stray cat hanging out near some benches

and another one, eating some scraps of food lying around the ground:

eechh... That white cat is rather ugly. Unfortunately, i did not have any sticks nearby to poke it with, or else it would have gotten what for. Actually, i think what the cat really needs is some food. I should've ran into the dollar store and gotten some delicious treats that the cat could've feasted upon. Then it would've been the king of stray cats. KING! Actually, it probably would've died from overeating.

The dollar store did have a rather useful tool though:

A fake security camera. With this device you can fool pedestrians into thinking that you are keeping a close watchful eye on the exterior of your home. Simply screw this plastic camera into an overhang and input 2 AA batteries. The batteries will light up the red LED light posed on the front of the camera to complete the full effect. No burgler will dare try to break in with this clearly visible security camera stalking his every move.

suckers... it's only 4 whole dollars. a great investment for what may be potentially stolen.. Can you really put a price on that?

Let's see here... the book store had copies of a Digital Devil Saga novel... and also a very graphic book on this year's kunchi festival dances. It had paintings of each dance for this year.

Oh well.. today was a bust, but i did run into some cute little cats. Tomorrow is the actual kunchi festival.

On another note, i got my refund of $1000 from going to the dorms rather than a host family. Whoooo... let the good times roll.

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