Amu Plaza Christmas Market, Dec. 3
I got up to Amu Plaza, and the main train station on Dec. 3rd at 7 PM, after my classes ended for the day at the English school. The Christmas Market live music was continuing with a band called The Acoustics. They were ok, but they played soft pops and covers of American Christmas pop music where people still own the copyrights, so there was no point in recording them (plus the camera battery died after taking about 10 photos). After that, I went back home to get dinner and to work on the blog.
JA Matsuri, Dec. 4
I've been getting a little more walking exercise lately, and on Thursday, when I got out of my lessons at the school, I took a detour down to Dolphin Port to look at some small sharks that have been hanging out near the aquarium. A group of workmen nearby were putting up the tent top parts of some display tables, so I knew there was going to be an event there on the weekend. On Saturday, I swung by again after my lessons ended, but all the tents were already closed up for the night. So, Sunday I made a point of going down to Dolphin Port around 3:30 PM to get some pictures for the blog.
The weather wasn't very good, with sporadic drizzle throughout the day. The event was the Japan Agriculture's attempt to promote itself, and local produce. Shown above is their tie-in with the Anpan-man TV anime series.
The main focus was on the food shops selling udon, soba and ramen with black Kagoshima pork, and beef.
I'd eaten just before leaving the apartment, so I was disinclined to stand in line for an hour to spend too much money on a small bowl of food.
There were maybe 150-200 people, despite the weather, and they did have a live stage.
Unfortunately, the band seemed to be composed solely of amateurs. The horn section was unsure of what song they were playing, and the singer forgot the words halfway through. They started up the opening theme for the Sazae-san TV anime series, which got the children and older adults waving their arms, but there was no point in recording them. After a few minutes, I left and headed up to Amu Plaza.
Amu Plaza Christmas Market, Dec. 4
I arrived just as the Kinpou Gongen taiko group was starting the last song of their set. I took a quick photo then recorded the song. Afterward, when the MC was announcing the remaining acts for the day, I realized that she was reading off a sheet of paper at her table. There was no schedule posted anywhere, but the table had a small stack of about 5 sheets that seemed to be printed copies of the line-up listings. No one stopped me from taking one, and I was happy to see that Bon DX had two shows for 7 and 8 PM. I returned home to eat an early dinner. While I was there, I checked my e-mail, and discovered that Bon had sent me a Facebook message saying that he and his band were going to be playing that night.
I got back up to Amu Plaza just before 7, and had enough time to say "hi". The band seemed to be on a tight schedule, and I never had a chance to ask for a photo with them at the end of the night. Sigh.
Anyway, the music was good, and I was able to record 5 songs, most of which Bon normally plays all the time, anyway. The new one was a Ska cover of John Lennon's "So this is Christmas." They played it twice, at the beginning of each set, and I kept missing the sax solo opening of the song, which was my bad.
Bon did ask me to post the photos and video I'd shot to the net, so I did that at the end of the night. On Monday, I realized that I got the date wrong when I made the title cards for the videos, using "2014" instead of "2016". Sigh. So I re-edited and re-rendered two of the videos on Monday, which wasted a couple hours, and I ended up not being able to use the newer versions anyway because youtube doesn't let you overwrite the files (generally, you have to delete the old version and upload the new one, which causes problems if you've already posted links to the old one on Facebook)..
Bon tends to change the line up of his band occasionally. The sax player and drummer are the same as usual, but the bass and keyboard players were different this time, and his main support singer, Nonki, was replaced by someone that was introduced as being a reggae singer.
Bon DX will be playing again on Christmas night, and I'm hoping to catch him then, too.
There's a shop that sells Christmas-themed balloons, and the top balloon of the stack is moon-shaped and has pictures of ornaments on it. But from this angle, I suddenly realized that it looks like some kind of an alien.