Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram

Getting cultured

Since Monday this week was a national holiday (Respect for the Aged Day), I got to enjoy a three-day weekend. I was invited to go to a culture festival in Otsu on Sunday. Since there was a typhoon moving in, they were afraid the weather would be bad, but it turned out to be nice and sunny in the morning.

The theme of the festival was Ee yan ka olé. The phrase ee yan ka is Kansai-ben (the local dialect). It literally translates as "It's okay, isn't it!" but the meaning is closer to "What the hell, why not!" or "No problem!" The olé was added to make it more culturally diverse, I imagine.

My group took a bus to Otsu. The main attraction was a cluster of booths serving food of all different kinds. The very first booth I encountered was serving tortillas. The tortillas contain a single leaf of lettuce, an entire meat patty drenched in sauce, and Japanese shredded cheese. Obviously, I wasn't going to be able to eat that, so I wandered around in search of something not containing meat. One of the booths down the line was serving what they called Peruvian doughnuts, so I decided to try those. Note that they're served with chopsticks.

After that, I mainly walked around and looked at all the different booths. Some of the people running the booths, like at this one hosted by a German restaurant, wore ethnic clothing. Some had props, like the blankets at this Latin American booth. Almost everything contained meat, though, so the only other things I bought were some fries and a cup of "hibiscus juice," which was dark purple and tasted rather like fruity molasses.

In the nearby hall, there were activities set up for children, as well as a section devoted to letting people dress up in the traditional clothing of various countries. The Korean area was wildly popular among women and children, and the kimono area was also kept very busy.

After I had been there for about two hours, I suddenly remembered that there was a Kinokuniya down the block, so I dashed over to do some book shopping. I wound up buying some more books on how to draw manga, particularly how to draw historical Japanese clothing. One of the books I couldn't resist, because it had a chapter devoted to the artist for Yasashii Ryuu no Koroshikata.

There was a parade in the afternoon, but my group decided to leave early because the sky had become rather overcast. It was a good thing we did so, because it started raining by the time we got back to Moriyama, and I still had to bike home from where the bus let us off at City Hall. I made it back to my apartment before the rain got heavy.

For the remainder of this week, the students all have half-days as they spend the afternoons preparing for the school festival.
Tags: culture, sightseeing
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