Tuesday, October 13, 2015
On Monday (Sports Day, which was a national holiday) Japan Rail (JR) teamed up with Myu FM radio to put on the Aki no Fureai (Going Back Home for the Fall) event. It was being broadcast live on the radio, and I was listening to the DJs interviewing various travel agents during most of the early afternoon while I was uploading the videos from Sunday to youtube. When I finished that, I went up to Amuplaza around 2:30 PM, just when the announcer was finishing her interview with a few JR shinkansen attendants.
The booths are all related to either JR Kyushu or various cities reachable by bullet train.
(The department store matches Amuplaza, up to the ferris wheel on the roof, but the Tokyu Hands building is missing. That didn't detract from people's interest in watching the trains going around in circles, though. Also, the trains don't circle the department store in real life.)
(The last of the train attendants interview.)
The next stage event wasn't supposed to be until 3:20 PM, so I went downstairs to Kaldi for a coffee sample, and ran into one of the Filipino women that I know from the Japanese language classes. We talked for a while, then I walked to the west side of the train station to look at used DS games in Bic Camera. The DS section continues to get smaller, although the prices aren't dropping. I didn't see anything I wanted so I returned to the plaza, where DJ Pocky and some other radio personality were trying to work the crowd before the next live act came up. The act started with a spoken bit about dreams and love and stuff for about a minute while the stage remained empty, then the singer came out and began singing to a recorded music track. It was basically karaoke, and I couldn't tell if she was lip syncing or actually singing while shaking her hips a lot. The soundtrack had a polished feel to it, so I guess she's a professional singing act, but there was nothing special about watching her outside of the dancing. Even so, I did decide to record her to put the video in the blog so people could make up their own minds about her (I hadn't taken a picture of the schedule card, so I don't know her name; not that I cared that much while I was there) when some staff member came up to me and said "no pictures". I put the camera away and returned home to get ready for my next English class. No big loss. The KBB event the day before was much better.
There was a lot other stuff going on this weekend that I hadn't taken pictures of. On my way to Amuplaza on Monday, there were LOTS of police at the street corners from the train station all the way down to Tenmonkan. The reason - another anti-nuclear reactor protest march along Streetcar Street. There seems to be a kind of paranoia on the part of the authorities, an expectation that the protestors are going to turn violent. Since most of them are over 70 years old, any real damages would come from someone tripping over their walker and breaking a hip. I didn't see the full march, but I'd estimate it at no more than 100-200 people. It did get mentioned on the local radio news that evening, anyway.
On Sunday, the Shimano Music Center in Amuplaza had a table set up in the center of the department store, where professional musicians were promoting Yamaha saxophones and flutes. Customers could try out a few of the instruments while being accompanied by the pros. The pros were good, but the customers hooting and wheezing away were less good. The noise pretty much filled the entire 6-floor building.
Then, on Monday, there was some kind of signing on the second floor of the the store. I didn't bother taking photos because I didn't recognize the guy. He was an older, overweight Japanese man wearing dark glasses, sitting at a table of t-shirts, CD cases and other merchandise. I couldn't tell if he was a musician (maybe a guitarist) or a pro wrestler. I didn't see a no cameras sign, but with all of the staff standing nearby I figured that it wasn't worth risking, since I wasn't spending money on things for the guy to autograph.