Tag Archives: kimonos

When I’m Not Blogging, I Possibly Visited … (Part 4)

Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture


About an hour away from Hiroshima is a bridge.

Sure there are a lot famous bridges in the world: the Golden Gate one, the Sydney Harbour one, the Bridge on the River Kwai one, the Charles one, the skinny one in Amsterdam, the London one … but I think that one is falling down, the one that is Too Far, …

I wouldn’t go out of my way to see a bridge usually, but I’d seen this one before earlier previously and thought it was worth going a little out of my way … even though I really wasn’t heading in any direction or way anyway.

The parking lot is the river bed or former river bed.

someone's on the ball

 I’ve never seen chalked out handicap parking before, but someone was on the ball with this idea. I think the person who limed out the symbols here should be doing the fields at the world cup: I can spot talent sometimes.

cool bridge

 The Kintai Bridge was originally built across the Nishiki river in 1673. In 1950 it was destroyed by a typhoon. It was rebuilt shortly after and is a recreation of the original. It was renovated again 2004. 

I guess they rebuilt it the same way for cultural or sentimental reasons. All it really does is connect the tourist traps on one side of the river with the tourist traps on the other side of the river.

You have to pay to walk over it too!  Both ways!! … and they check carefully too and punch your tickets!!!

There are 2 other bridges about 100 meters away from this one that you can drive or walk over for free  … but this one seems to be the most popular of the bunch.
Maybe in 300 years, people will have to pay to use those other bridges and they will look really cool too. I can’t wait!

cool bridge far shot

 I guess the river either gets high at some times of the year or the builders had pretty high expectations for the river.

There is a rebuilt castle at the top of a hill with a convenient cable car running up to it.  … or maybe the cable car was built first and then someone realized that the cable car business was slow because there was nothing to go and see.
I don’t know. When I start thinking of these “chicken versus the egg” type scenarios my mind gets all wigglely and I smell smoke.

cool bridge from down below

 There is a place where you can see white snakes which is pretty cool; some places to eat lunch which are very convenient if you arrive when you’re hungry; and there are even places where you can buy souvenirs and food products for other people who might be wanting a key chain or may be hungry when you see them back at home or work.

cool bridge while on cool bridge

 I think this person wore a kimono for a photo opportunity … because she knew there were no plywood things that you can stick your head through.

cool bridge with cool van

 I don’t know how the bridge got into this photo! I was just taking a picture of my van … looking very vanly … honest.

After walking across the bridge … twice, riding the cable car, visiting the castle, eating an ice cream, having lunch, seeing the white snakes, and buying food products for possibly hungry people back at home and work; it was back on the road to ????



a different cool bridge


I’m leaving you with a cliffhanger because I like cliffs and hangers … and together they are just so exciting!

But … I did cross this bridge later in the day. I can’t remember what time of day it was though, but possible I was looking West.



Dance Recital Madness: Day Two

After the big show on Saturday, I thought Sunday’s offering would prove anti-climactic.  I was wrong.

I collected my program at the entrance, bought a bottle of milk from a vendor, and entered the darkened auditorium.
The place was filled to the rafters with an expectant crowd: many of the women seemed to be expecting more kids soon too!

The hall was humming with excited chatter; while others in the audience just seemed to be humming for some reason.

I thought this must have been what it was like in The Cavern Club in Liverpool before The Beatles came on stage.

In this more intimate setting without seating, the  moshpit area was jammed with people full of excitement, anticipation, and extensive video equipment.

Whereas the Saturday show pandered to an older generation from a few generations ago, this one started with a …

David Bowie Medley/Montage/Re-envisionment …  retrospectively speaking.

ground control to Major Crybaby!

 Space Oddity.      Ground Control to Major Tomohito.

having a bad day in front of a lot of people

I guess one of the dancers didn’t like floating in his tin can far above the Earth. He seemed blue like planet Earth and there was nothing anyone could do … until they closed the curtain.

Sin... Bad Dancers

There was a bit of The Jean Genie next.  Poor little greenie.

too cute

I must have missed this Bowie reincarnation, but it was pretty good anyway.

possible Grease #5 dancers

Let’s Dance was next.  It had everyone swaying under the serious moonlight.

Blue Jeans

It finished up with Blue Jeans.  
They didn’t do any of that Tin Machine crap thankfully.

I was a bit disappointed nothing from the Hunky Dory album was done though.

It seemed to seamlessly stream in to a Japanese Pop Music driven section for a while.

future girl band

Girl band stuff.

 future boy band

 Boy band stuff.

The end of the program got really out of control with some sort of experimental, sci-fi, fantasy, conceptual, re-interpretationalistic routines.

The Go-Ongers!!!!!

 Boys in quasi- Power Ranger costumes doing what they usually do after a few chocolate bars: punch, kick, scream, and run around a lot.

camera shy

 And the finale were some camera shy kimono clad groovers doing something traditional in an attempt to cool down the crowd so they could possibly drive home sensibly and not forget to leave their empty milk bottles with the vendor on the way out.

Overall the performances were very strong, like sniffing a bleach bottle; hard driving, like a tricycle on a muddy day; and edgy like 1,000 origami cranes.

The performers left it all on the stage … along with a few pompoms and assorted hats.
The 4 to 6 years old kids made their statement:

This is me. This is real. This is what I am: love it or hate it … you can’t stop it.   Now I am spent and need help getting out of my costume … and I may need a nap too.” 


The Beatles

Hey! I knew The Beatles would show up in some form or another.




Dance Recital Madness

There are a lot of big festivals in the world: Carnival, Oktoberfest, Burning Man. The list goes on and on …

and somewhere in the middle of that list is the …

“Numata Kindergarten Dance Festival”.

This is the first of the BIG 3 Events on my calendar: the others being the Numata Matsuri  and Kinder-Olympics.    My calendar isn’t very big I guess.

I was lucky enough to get free tickets to not one, but two venues this year.

I hear all of you pulling your hair and screaming “No Way!” and “Some people have all the luck!” … and all I have to say is, “Yes Way!!!” and “Yes, I’m usually this lucky on a regular basis!!!” … and yes I usually reply to statements with more exclamation marks than the statement maker used.

It was a 2 day non-stop, full-on, dawn to dusk/dusk to dawn, spectacular, extravaganza that lasted for about 2 hours on Saturday afternoon and 1 hour and 45 minutes on Sunday morning.

The first venue was at the city’s Culture Center. I don’t know who figured out where the center of culture in this city is, but I think it should be a lot closer to my place.


I was a bit late, so the crazy crowds were already stacked and racked inside.

blurry but good

 If it was your first time at the big festival, you’d probably expect a lot of kimono wearing fan waving mumbo jumbo … and the dancers didn’t disappoint.

not blurry

They rocked the house with all their amazing hand and foot work. It was like yoga, but with a pulse!


 Next came the parasol toting kimono wearing group. There was a lot of twirling and intricate walking around done.

dog walking

Who let the dogs out? … and the parasols?

 Where's Mr. Bo Jangles?

Then there were incredible vaudevillians to entertain the crowd. I think the one on the left tried to do a cartwheel!!!

 I'm a little teapot variation #7

The “Egg Cap Kids” came on to liven up an already ecstatically frenzied crowd.

 red shoes

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more out of hand, “The Rockettes” showed up to show off their fancy dipping and side-to-side moves … while wearing red shoes and everything.

 more red shoes

All the dancers’ fluid movements were accompanied by music from the era before words were invented.
It was like poetry and music combined, but without any poetry stuff.
I guess the dancers were so great they made the songs speechless!

 possibly wigs

When everyone thought it was all over and were ready to take their video cameras and accost strangers on the street with video highlights, the “White Hair Shakers” came out.

And then it was all over and everyone left sweaty and in silence … probably because they’d been dancing in their seats and lost their voices from screaming so much … or were thinking about what to eat for dinner and why the heating in the hall was turned so high.


DAY 2 … tomorrow!