So, in the week since I last posted Mark Doss came to visit. This was very exciting because he's my first visitor and also because he's my boyfriend whom I love very much. (Awwww).
Oh, and I turned 23! Good age, I like it.
So among the highlights of his visit:
1. Watching drunk horses parade around a city
2. Getting addicted to a new Japanese arcade game (Dance Dance, anyone?)
3. Bathing naked with a bunch of strangers
4. And much much more!
Let me explain in greater detail.
On Monday (the 21st) Mark and I joined a bunch of the other ALTs on a day trip to a (realtively) nearby city called Kumamoto. We had heard of a very unique festival held in Kumamoto every September, in which horses were fed sake and made to parade drunkenly around town. Yes, I know, not the most humane of parades, but...."when in Rome."
In any case, we arrived without much of a plan to Kumamoto. This turned out to be okay, because the liquored up horses march right through the city center and there is absolutely no way you can miss the incredible amount of people marching in the parade, accompanied by incessant taiko drumming and cheering.
It was quite the party.
We were a bit worried because we had also heard some rumors that that horses were killed and eaten (or simply killed and not eaten) after the parade, but it seems that the rumors, thankfully, were unfounded. Dem horses be safe and sound...if perhaps a little hungover.
We also explored a castle, an old samurai residence. a botanical garden, and a shrine while at Kumamoto!
Apart from sightseeing and enjoying awesome Japanese food, we spent lots of our time at the arcade. Sigh. We couldn't stay away! One game in particular captured our interest. I don't know what the actual name of the game is, but it's Taiko drum version of Dance Dance Revolution. It's just as flashy as Dance Dance and 10 times more addictive.
Speaking of addictive, guess who went to the onsen (public bath house) yet again? Yep, I can't get enough of communal bathing.
Not really, I just took Mark to the onsen because I thought it would be a good cultural experience for him. It was a bit hard to convince him at first, but I think Mark really enjoyed his trip to the bath house. I suppose you'll just have to ask him yourself. There will be no pictures of the naked-bathing-with-strangers. It just wouldn't be proper. And also I didn't want my camera to get wet...
And now, for a little glimpse into what may be the best part of life in Japan. The delicious and amazing sweets they've invented over here:
In no particular order, my favorite candies/sweet stuff are:
1. This taffy type candy
2. This delicious ice cream dessert
3. This soft mushy ball of goodness. It's strawberry and marshmallow and light dusting of what is probably a little bit of cocaine (or something)
Sorry the pictures are so dark. Come visit me and you'll get to see them (and eat them!) in much better lighting.
Tomorrow I return to school! The past week everyone was on holiday- Silver Week, we call it here. But now it's time to get back to school. Sigh sigh.
As always, much love. I hope, wherever you are, you have good candy too.