Those lazy hazy crazy days of summer
This August I barely had time to relax. The weather was great so we used every opportunity possible to go out and have fun. ^-^
First of all, I went to see Gow’s live performance in Yoyogi park. Her band Genez had two new songs – as always very powerful lyrics from Michael and energetic performance from Gow chan.
After live, we hang out a bit at the festival before I headed to the river to see Hanabi – fireworks with my Russian girlfriends.
Tamagawa hanabi is the only one I managed to see this year. In Tokyo and I assume in other cities too, Summer is celebrated with a series of fireworks beautiful and intricate, each having its own theme.
It’s one of the biggest and most famous fireworks in Tokyo. It is started from two different locations on the river and shot simultaneously in duration of 1 hour. Quite a spectacle – every time I am so amazed and feel myself completely overwhelmed with joy like a little child. The only downside of such events is the unbelievable amount of people. Because of a “crowd on top of a crowd” phenomenon that is Tokyo’s entertainment scene, couple of police buses as well as local volunteers were assigned to work the event’s logistics making it impossible to enjoy – every 10 or so seconds they would announce into the loudspeaker something like “Move along, don’t take pictures, people behind you would get annoyed. Move along, don’t step on each other, be polite. Move along, fireworks is gonna end in 15 minutes, 14 minutes, 13 minutes…and you wouldn’t be able to go back to the station, it would take 40 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour..” – so annoying. I couldn’t take video of a beautiful hanabi and hanabi sound because of those loud announcements. After it was finished, as promised I couldn’t get back to the station so I had to take a little detour and walk 30 minutes to a neighbor station with less people. Oh, and I never got the chance to meet my Russian girlfriends – their car was blocked by police so they had to park temporarily and watch hanabi from the other side of the river. ^-^
Then, there was Brazilian festival – a Yoyogi park event dedicated to all things Brazil.
There was food, music, dancing, beauty pageant, Samba and Capoeira performances, Havaianas and braids stations, hot guys and girls in little bikinis – all you can imagine to see at a Brazil festa. Portuguese was spoken everywhere – I had no idea there were this many Brazilian living in Japan. Most of them looked half Japanese so I assume their community has been here for quite a while.
The food was so delicious. I tried Bauru sandwich and fried chicken hearts and 100% fresh Acai berry juice. The juice was disgusting but very good for health so I drank it all. ^-^ And I really enjoyed Capoeira performances – all the jumping and twisting in the air while meticulously calculating the next move of the partner so that they don’t hit each other – really tricky!
This is me, Diana, Gow and Hitomi trying to escape the heat and hit-ons from anything but shy Brazilian guys.
After that I went to see soccer game with Serezha – a birthday boy who tricked everyone into not celebrating his birthday this year. His friend from work got second row seat tickets to a national game Japan – Paraguay! I have never seen a game this close before – it was really amazing. It was the first time I could see the faces of the players and not just their blurred figures.
There was an army of photographers in front of us with huge camera lens – it was so funny to watch them because they all looked like tiny assassins with their riffles on the target. During the half time they all moved in one organized line to the other side of the field.
The second half of the game was very intense. Japan got a goal so Paraguay team went aggressive trying to even the score. Fortunately the score stayed 1:0 till the end of the game.
Soccer fans were so organized too (like everything and everyone is in Japan). They have cheering groups with leaders, flag bearers, time keepers etc. They gather once or twice a month and create new tunes for each player, then practice singing and clapping. My friend from work is one of the leaders from the cheering team in Chiba – he explained a lot about how it works. They organize events that help them raise money to go abroad for cheering. They get special ticket quotas and always sit together. Some teams have very rich sponsors that take care of everything. ^-^
I took a picture of Honda when he was passing by. Serezha mentioned that ever since Honda started to play for Russian team, he became looking like Russian. Immediately I noticed that – his facial expression and body gestures – I could totally see Russian in him. Plus he is blond now. ^-^ I wonder if it’s something he did out of stress of living abroad. I would lie if I didn’t admit that at some point in my life in Japan I wanted to dye my hair black to fit in more..
After the game, we went clubbing with Dima. It was a pretty tough schedule : Brazilian festival, soccer game and clubbing – all in one day. But Dima insisted (as always) so we gave in.
After three or four Heinekens, Serezha went nuts. He was dancing like crazy – I have never seen him like that. He and Tamara were serving each other on the dance floor – it was so funny.
Then, there was Vincent’s first live performance in Shinjuku and a trip to Enoshima but more about it in the next post. ^-^