Alex McGilvray

Japan Week #02 – Danjiri Festival in Kishiwada

September 19th, 2012

Many things have happened in Japan so I have to cut a lot of stuff out to avoid boring any readers.

This weekend we went to the annual Danjiri festival. In a ignorant nutshell it’s a large festival where all day giant heavy wooden floats pulled by hundreds of people race down streets in Kishiwada. From what I’m told people tend to die every year. I can believe it, the floats get enormous momentum and are surrounded by many people. While we were at the festival I saw no less than 10 ambulances race by. Also saw someone being dragged out who seemed to be suffering from a combination of fatigue and a sprained ankle.

If you want to know more about the festival you can check my better halfs blog about the festival as well. She is Japanese and knows a lot more about the festival than I do. You can see it here:

Here is a video I compiled from the footage I took at the festival.


Japan Week #01 – Moving in.

September 8th, 2012

It’s been one hell of a week. I’m now moved into my new place, have a bank account, have registered with the town hall and got furniture and appliances rented for my place (in Japan most apartments dont come with things like fridges).  Big thanks to my lady Akari for handling most of that work, I would most likely be stuck in a corner eating vending machine food otherwise.

I live in Seika Kyoto which is about 20 mins on the train from Kyoto cit, 50 mins to Osaka and 20 mins to Nara. My place is on the edge of town and largely surrounded by rice fields. In fact right outside my balcony is a mini rice field, another larger rice field to the left and a HUGE (many sqr km’s) rice field behind my house. It’s unbelievably quiet here. Everything turns dead silent at night and there are very few street lights so it also gets very dark. I’ve noticed that I sleep less but am much more well rested in the morning. This is most likely a direct result of the tranquility.

Here is the view from the front of my apartment and my apartment itself.

I also met one of my neighbors, I ended up talking to him because outside his house he had 2 baby boars. It turns out someone in the neighborhood had shot a mother boar and it’s 2 boarlings came back looking for their mother. He was kind enough to take in the 2 boars and said he will raise them for 2 years then release them back into the wild.

Here are the 2 little guys.

Finally it’s about 4 blocks to the train/bus station I use to go to work. This is what the walk looks like in the densenst urban portion of my town.