Thursday, November 3, 2016

Patent Office Event and Shochu Street

Ok, this one didn't make a lot of sense. For a few days leading up to Halloween weekend, the Circuit Japan Patent Office had a display area in the middle of Tenmonkan to show off various brand products.

There was a TV showing a promo video, attended by one homeless guy with a lot of free time. And several guys associated with the event that just stood around and talked to each other. One guy did hover around the tables, kind of looking like a salesman trying to target business customers.

I'm not sure what the products are. Maybe black vinegar.

And shochu and sake. It wasn't for sale, and I wouldn't have tried drinking it, if it was...

Bristles used for stirring shaving cream in cups, for people with thick facial hair.

Plus, ceramics. The thing that was weird about the exhibit was that there didn't see to be a point to it, since you couldn't buy anything, and the salespeople weren't there to address anyone's questions. It was more like, "How can we, the patent office, justify getting out of the building for a couple of days, and still get paid for it?"

Shochu Street

Sigh. From Nov. 1st to the 3rd, area shochu makers gathered to create "Shochu Street", where you could eat food and get tickets for 6 small glasses of shochu for 500 yen ($5 USD). Fortunately, I had to work the night of the 1st, and the event was being torn down for the night when I arrived at 8 PM. Fortunately, in that I didn't have to agonize over whether I should push my luck and buy something to eat (unfortunately, in that my stomach was still killing me and I had no appetite anyway).

A lot of people were still sitting, eating and chatting with friends and family.

I dropped by again on the 2nd, and the place was crowded. There were live stages all three days, but the schedule for the first day looked boring, and I couldn't find schedules for days 2 and 3. On the second, there must have been some idol group performing, because there was a huge crowd behind the stage shooting video of someone(s) hidden behind the taxis in the taxi port alcove. Day 2 ended just as the evening portion of Ohara Matsuri was starting, and I was more focused on watching Ohara than anything else.

Day 3 of shochu street coincided with the day portion of Ohara, and I was scheduled to teach classes pretty much all afternoon. So, the presence of the food and drink didn't bother me as much at that point. And I kept telling myself, "I can always buy shochu in the store and drink it at home when I get better..."  I'm a lousy motivational speaker.

I really would have liked being able to get paper copies of the live stage schedules, just to tell if I'd missed anything I might have wanted to see. But, I don't think I did.

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