Gion Festival Prep

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This is old news, but I have great pictures so I’m gonna post it anyway. Heh.

Double check the facts before you start quoting them. Most of this is second hand knowledge and stuff.

Gion Matsuri happens every year in the middle of July in Kyoto. There are 3 big festivals in Kyoto, and they are called 3大祭り。 Literally, 3 big festivals. One of them is Gion, the others are Aoi and Jidai Matsuri. Gion Matsuri itself including preparation and all the mini events and stuff lasts for like one entire month. Huge.

I was down in Kyoto about one week before the festival started, and got to see the preparation for the event. This is something that even Japanese people will go out of their way and get down to take pictures of. It was pretty cool.

In different parts around Kyoto, they stagger the preparation of what is called “Hoko”, those big decorated things that look like moving shrines. That’s the technical description right there. So that if you around to all the places you can see Hoko in all forms, from a pile of wood to the giants they become when they’re almost complete.

Anyway, that was cool stuff. I should put these pics up as a gallery sometime. If I’m ever able to unlazy myself enough to start using MakeThumbs again…


If you ever want bigger higher quality versions of any of the pics on this site, just let me know and I’ll prepare them for ya.

Ramen in Kyoto

I went to this ramen shop in kyoto the other day.

I was showing a friend from Tokyo around Kyoto, and for some reason my friend wanted to eat Ramen… Which is strange, because Kyoto is not known for ramen at all.

Anyway, we asked the tourist guide place about any famous ramen shops in the area, and we were pointed to these two places, one called “新副菜間” (Shinhukusaikan) and another called “第一旭” (Daiichiasahi).

They are both famous, apparently 第一旭 has a saltier broth, while Shinhukusaikan has a really really dark broth with their ramen. They are both pretty unique tastes.

We chose to go to Shinhuku’. We went there at like, 3pm and the place was actually crowded, we had to wait about 5 minutes to get a seat. If you want to eat Ramen, you have three choices.

Small, Normal, and Large. (sho, nami, and dai) (小、並、大)

And… THE RAMEN. Click for a bigger picture. If you’re hungry.

The location is very close to Kyoto station.

You go out the central gate, turn right, go down a narrow street until you interscet with the next largest street. Both shops are on the corner.

If you can’t figure it out, you can generally ask any native to point you in the right direction.


$50 Melons

I saw these melons on sale in Kyoto for two for about 50 US dollars. Seems they were grown in Hokkaido.

They are on sale and nicely packaged for what is called “Ocyuugen” お中元 “Ocyuugen is a time period in the middle of the year when you are supposed to give gifts to those who have helped you out.

I wonder how often people give melons for this holiday. Honestly, I don’t know very much about this topic.

At the end of the year, there is another period called “Oseibo” お歳暮. Apparently this is the same thing, but it happens at the end of the year.

Do people give melons during “Oseibo” too? Are they just as expensive?

I haven’t seen any of my friends going out buying things to get ready for this or anything… is this some that only older adults participate in or something?

I think this is the first time I have posted about something I know so little about! (Actually… I take that back. I usually don’t know what the heck I’m writing about.)


Koizumi Hakken!

I found Koizumi!

I was just walking around in Osaka the other day and I saw Koizumi giving a campaign speech! Election time is coming around, so he was making his appearances.

Fear the power of the zoom!

Some of the stuff he said that I could understand was…

“Osaka is important!”

“Cup Noodle started in Osaka!”

Thanks for the noodle props Koizumi! And, the Cup Noodle Museum is in Ikeda, for those who want to know.