Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lucky Amu Christmas



The open space in front of the department store inside the Kagoshima-chuo train station is set up for Christmas now.



As a reminder, Christmas in Japan doesn't have much of the religious connotations that it does in the west. For the most part, it's a time for romance between couples. The "religious" holiday, which is spent with friends and family, is the first few days at the beginning of the new year.





The space on either side of the tree is designed for couples to have their photo taken together. The volcano is clearly visible behind the tree when you're in the plaza, but is completely washed out in the photo because of the contrast imbalance.



Later, I decided to go up to the train station to see if they had anything in the way of seasonal illuminations, like what can be found at the south side of Shinjuku station. While the AmuPla Christmas lights were turned on, only a couple of trees along the street car line had any lights on them at all. This struck me as kind of strange, since Chuo station is the largest train station in the city and has the most foot traffic, so why no dedicated illuminations? Walking down to Tenmonkan along the streetcar street was equally dark and uninteresting. It's not until you get to the Tenmonkan shopping complex 1/2 mile away that there's anything like Christmas lights on the street poles, or the sides of the buildings, and those are there just as part of the shops' advertising (like what you'd find in a mall in the U.S.)

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Dates for the week, Dec. 18-25

Birthdays (11):
Alfred Bester, 12/18/1913
Jack. C Haldeman II, 12/18/1941
Michael Moorcock, 12/18/1939
Keith Richards, 12/18/1943
Steven Spielberg, 12/18/1946
Josepf Stalin, 12/18/1876
Charlie Callas, 12/20/1924
Harry Shearer, 12/23/1943
Fritz Leiber, 12/24/1910
Isaac Newton, 12/25/1642
Rod ("Twilight Zone") Serling, 12/25/1924

Died (8):
Majel (Nurse Chapel) Barrett, 12/18/2008
Foster Brooks, 12/20/2001
Carl Sagan, 12/20/1966
Victor Borge, 12/23/2000
Karel ("R.U.R.") Capek, 12/25/1938
Charlie Chaplin, 12/25/1977
W. C. Fields, 12/25/1946
Dean Martin, 12/25/1995

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