Monday, August 28, 2017

Yukata Night, Aug. 26-27, 2017

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Yukata Night event that was supposed to be the weekend of Aug. 5th, but had gotten cancelled because of the typhoon that completely missed us. Well, turns out that the good shopkeepers of Tenmonkan really want the customers, so they rescheduled the event for this last weekend. Again, the idea is to have customers wearing yukata (evening kimono), and getting discounts on whatever they buy during the evening. So, things started at about 5 PM Saturday and ran to about 9 PM, and then repeated on Sunday. There was a live stage at one end of the arcade, arts and crafts tables, activities for children, and a few restaurants selling food out of doors, and "shochu street" (mentioned below). I had to work a bit on Saturday, with a class at 2-3 PM, and then a second class from 6 to 7 PM. As I was going home from the first class, the food booths were still setting up, and the two guys in the photo above were just doing a sound check.

The schedule for the first day was: 5:00) Fish Girl Kampachi Show, which apparently was a kampachi (yellowtail fish) giveaway; 5:30) Aya Katou (above and below), who did soft J-pop; 6:00) Yoshi's Bossa Nova; 7:00) Japanese Jazz; 8:00) Bingo. As mentioned, I had to work, so I missed most of Aya's show, and all of the Bossa Nova. I caught a bit of the jazz band, and skipped the bingo entirely. I did see the bingo part last year, though. The idea is that you spend a certain amount of money at the shops and bring the receipts to get a bingo card. Winners of the bingo game can get big prizes, like TVs, PS4s and bread makers. But, my luck with these kinds of things is really rotten, so I didn't bother.

(The sign in back says "fish girl".)

Ok, shochu street is essentially just an advertising campaign by some of the shochu makers. There's about 5-10 different brands of shochu (distilled alcohol), and you can get a watered down glass with a couple ounces of shochu on the rocks for 100 yen (90 cents USD). I got two glasses, which was ok, but I wasn't inclined to keep spending money just to get drunk. They were advertising another shochu street for November, which will probably be just shochu and food. (I did see it last year, but that was when I had the kidney stone and wasn't in much of a mood to try the food then.)

During the day, a couple guys (including the one on the right) were selling rickshaw rides to anyone in yukata that wanted a quick tour of Tenmonkan.

Here we have the jazz group. They were ok, but they were doing copyrighted covers, so there was no point in recording them.

Then on Sunday, the schedule was: 5:00 PM) Kyara Kagoshima (foamhead mascots promoting places around the prefecture - "kyara" = "character"); 5:30: Kaito (a juggler); 6:00 Music Create Rien; 7:00) Santa Hula Studio (hula dancing); and, 8:00) bingo again.

Back at the beginning of August, I got a big stack of books for my birthday, and I've been working my way through them ever since. Right now, I'm reading Prolog Programming, which is a pretty dense book. I've been struggling with the syntax and logic concepts of the Prolog language for the last week, and spending a lot of time at the computer trying to get the example programs to run. That's pretty much what I was focused on until 4 PM on Sunday. Also, I'd gone to Mister Donut on Friday, and received 4 "campaign cards" for the money I'd spent on the order, but there was nothing on the cards saying what the campaign was, just that they'd expire on Sunday. So, at about 4 PM, I ran over to Mister Donut and spent another $7 on donuts and coffee to get two more cards. I turned them in, and found out that if you have 6 of the cards total, you get a points card with 250 yen ($2.25 USD) in store credit on it. Essentially, a 10% points back card. I stuck around until 5:30 PM, eating donuts and reading more of the Prolog book, then returned to Tenmonkan.

The thing is, I've seen the foamhead mascot show before, and there was no point in seeing it again. I've also seen Kaito several times. He's a good juggler, but his show rarely changes. I've already got video of him on youtube. I have no interest in the hula dancing, and dinner at home was going to be the same time as the bingo giveaway. That just left Music Create Rien. When I arrived at the Yukata Night site, some woman acting as announcer was going through the audience and challenging children to rock-paper-scissors, and giving away small packages of snacks to anyone under 6 years old (I didn't qualify, no matter how hard I tried). When she took a break, Rien (above photo) would play copyrighted covers, alternating between jazz, pop and Disney. They were ok, but not worth recording. I stuck around long enough to figure out what was going on, then turned home to process photos and type up blog entries.

Not a really exciting weekend, but not a complete waste. At least I got some shochu, and managed to get a few of the Prolog programs to run. Plus, donuts.

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