Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kyudaisai 2013 and Christmas Lights

This year, the student festival weekend 'Kyudaisai' was particularly lucky to have good autumn weather. The previous year it had been much colder and raining, so this year I was able to enjoy it much more than before. However, I think because of this fortunate good weather, the turn-out was particularly overwhelming! It is because of this reason I have so little photos of the events, because I had almost no time to stop and take photos because there was also a line of people behind me or in front of me.

Kyudaisai is mostly student-run tents selling food, goods, or games to help raise money for their various clubs or activities, or just to raise awareness of their organization. Needless to say, all I mostly did both Saturday and Sunday was eat festival food. This year I also went to the student run maid-cafe which was interesting to say the least. I honestly think it was meant more for men to go to, but the cake and coffee there was quite tasty, so I cannot complain.

There was also a various number of performances including singers, dancers, acrobats, and even comedians. I think the comedy was lost on me (I cannot understand that kind of Japanese), but each culture has a unique flavor to their comedians and what they find funny. Many of my friends who are not Japanese say that even though they understand what is being said, in their cultural context, it's not considered funny. I wonder if the same is true for Japanese people watching American comedy movies.

This weekend I also had experiments, unfortunately, so I didn't get to do as much as I wanted. Maybe next year I will be able to enjoy it more... however, experience tells me I will probably be busy next year too. But, in the end, I had fun.

The following weekend after Kyudaisai, I was invited to attend a Christmas music concert in Tenjin with one of my  good friends. Her husband is a skilled piano player, so he was taking part in the concert this year. The concert was only an hour or so long, so afterwards we walked around the downtown Tenjin area to look at the illuminations. Unlike in the USA where people wait until after Thanksgiving to put up Christmas lights, Japan's Christmas-season extends from right after Halloween up until the end of December. Therefore, all the big stores in Tenjin already had all their fancy decorations up.

They were very beautiful, and we managed to get many photos this year since it was not raining, hooray! Maybe the most famous out of the Christmas light areas, or 'illumination' areas is known as Tenjin Hikari Square... literally Tenjin 'Light' Square. They always come up with new decorations every year. This year they had a whole lot of disco balls.... I have no idea what that has to do with Christmas, but they were very beautiful at night.

After seeing the Illuminations, we returned home quite tired from walking around so much. Maybe in the following weeks, I have many parties to look forward to. I hope to post more soon!
P.S. I finally finished a blanket I started when I first came to Japan. 1-year in the making.