Kids’ Dance Festival in Higashi Omiya

If you ever have a chance to get out to a small, local festival near where you live, you’ll probably find that they can be surprisingly entertaining. This kid’s dancing festival is held in Higashi-Omiya, a tiny station north of Tokyo every August. They have kids from the local dance schools perform, and I find watching little four-year-olds dancing to Hip Hop songs with lyrics about “bitches,” “ho’s,” and explicitly sexual language endlessly entertaining.

Kanchu Mizuabi, the Ice-water Bathing Festival

I’m a bit of a samugariya (someone who hates the cold), so I found myself shivering just watching these guys pouring ice-cold water over themselves. It’s part of the annual Daikoku Matsuri at the famous Kanda Myojin Shrine in downtown Tokyo, and is an ancient purification rite. Originally, it was for people who had just turned 20, which is the age when one legally becomes an adult in Japan. I couldn’t help but wonder if the hidden purpose of the festival is to lower the sex-drives of randy young 20-year-olds. The festival is open to anyone, and there were a few women and guys who looked to be in their 50s and 60s as well.

I was quite surprised to see Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys at a Japanese festival.

By the way, if you go to take photos, you want to be in the group on the right of the pool. The people on the left and center get told they can’t stand there about five minutes before the festival starts (even though they’ve been waiting for like an hour and the so-called “organizers” were there the whole time without bothering to mention they weren’t allowed to stand there.)

Nara New Year’s

On  New Year’s day, my in-laws went to visit some local shrines near their house, and I went along to take photos. I found the tiny rural temples really interesting – it’s a huge change from the crowds in the big-city shrines.

More photos after the jump.
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Random Bizarre Photos from around the Japanese Interwebs

These photos are from a website called Himajin. A himajin is a person with too much time on his or her hands.

Fuji-Q Highland is a bear habitat. There are bears all over. If you come across one, definitely do not try pro-wrestling moves on it. Do not tackle it.

Motorcycle grave

“Mild Seven” is a popular cigarette brand in Japan.

Exercise bike

Work part-time, just for now!
You don’t have to be motivated
You don’t have to be energetic
It doesn’t matter what you look like
Hourly pay over 900 yen

Walking/Sleeping Bag
They say that “From now on,  if you are attacked by a bear in the middle of the night, you can just stand up and run away,” but the question is whether you can run fast enough.

Titanics forbidden

If you’re going to write graffiti, write it well!!
This is terrible!!
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
The management.

Butt hairs
1 for 48 yen.
5 for 198 yen.
(There is actually a town called Shikke, which means butt hair. The sign maker seems to have put the name of the supermarket as the product.)

Members of the Humanities Department, Law Department, First Section of each Management Department, First Section of the Science Department, the entire Engineering Department have all passed their exams, with the exception of the below person, who failed: