Halloween, Guttony and Free Hugs
So, it’s been a while since I posted on here. There is a two-fold reason for this. Up until this weekend I had been leading a rather sedentary existence that you wouldn’t find very interesting and, during this weekend I have been doing, and recovering from so many things that writing anything wasn’t an option.
Last Friday we went to an all you can eat and drink Yakiniku Nomiakai (drinking party). We were sat at a table with a grill in the middle, there were four of us at each table in this case. Several different types of meat were brought for us to cook ourselves. All the meat is beef but it is taken from different parts of the cow, even including cartilage and intestines in some cases (I tried some and would not recommend it). We had booked for two hours and for the first hour we were brought a set menu of beef, whilst in the second hour we were able to place our own orders. In a lightly macabre fashion you are given a diagram of a cow with each part labelled so you can point to the part of the cow you want to eat.
Here’s an example of the sort of set-up you might have, although this is from a previous trip to Japan:
The drink and food were transient and I can honestly say that I think that is the most I have had to eat and drink for a very long time, possibly ever. The selection of drinks was pretty good, although I mainly stuck to Sake and soda mixers. The damage was 5000yen per person which equates to around £40. I think for the amount of food and drink we were given, it’s a reasonable price, especially for Tokyo.
After the meal we went for a few drinks in an English-style bar. What was English about this bar is unknown to me. There were no big guys with low cut T-shirts, shaved chests and spay tans or girls with bleached hair. It felt, especially as we were the only British people in there, pretty Japanese to me.
On Saturday we went for a nice home-cooked meal at one of my wife’s colleague’s house. Nothing to report here except that watching two small Japanese children carving pumpkins was pretty cute and that they had a library that made me green with envy.
First a note relating to Harajuku, although not Halloween. Harajuku is Tokyo’s quirky district. It’s where most of the Cosplay goes on and seems to be at times, completely populated by young people. On the side of one street were a group of said young people, each carrying a sign saying ‘Free Hugs’ and smiling like lunatics. I wanted to take a picture but didn’t in fear of leaving myself open. Public affection? Well, it’s not very British is it?
On Sunday morning we went to a parade on the Harajuku main street. Parents pay for a ticket, dress up their offspring, and then march them around for other people to appreciate how cute they are.
A band and several dancers accompanied the children as they conducted a circuit lasting for an hour or so.
A special mention also goes out to the Dad who dressed up as Piccolo from Dragonball Z.
Halloween, Hatsudai – The Hospital of the Dead
Reader Beware, You’re in for a Scare
Probably the coolest idea I have ever seen for Halloween. ArtGig Tokyo opened up an abandoned hospital for the night and set out several creepy exhibits. We had to take our own torch as none of the lights were to be turned on. Even though there were a lot of people making their way through the darkness, the venue was very atmospheric and many doors were held slightly ajar, with only darkness visible beyond.
Some of the exhibits were quite interesting, whilst others were just plain creepy.
Further into the hospital there was a bar and a room where some sort of a rave was going on. Although the hospital wasn’t very big, we still managed to spend a good half an hour wandering around the several rooms filled with broken furniture and hospital equipment.
Right at the back they were showing some sort of gothic animation which I got a few shots of that seem in sequence:
As we made our way out of the building there was also a projector showing a Samurai committing Seppuku (disemboweling himself), which was a nice cultural touch.
All in all a very fun night and I hope they run something similar next year.
Anyway, it’s too warm here to be sat in front of a laptop (yes I’m rubbing it in).
Hope you all enjoy whatever you did, or are doing for Halloween. Just remember that you need to ask yourself one question before you head out tonight.
I loved that show.
Anyway, Have a better one!