Close Encounters of the Nth Kind…

It’s been three weeks weeks since I came to Japan. Crazy, right? No, I need an adjective way stronger, but I just can’t get my brain to find one after a weekend of nighttime  Karaoke-ing and daytime touring…

The calendar on my desk tells me I have been here for three weeks, the amount of things I have done, places I have seen (and the tests scheduled on Spoken Japanese course syllabus) tells me I have been here for three months, and my ever-expanding list of things I want to do before I leave Japan tells me I have been here for three days (and have three days left).

Yesterday I went to the Danjiri Festival in Osaka, of which I initially had very limited information. All you need to know, is that the Danjiri festival, like most Japanese festivals, is a harvest festival… This one was all about running while pulling mini-shrines, jumping on the shrines while they were being pulled (and trying not to die) banging on bongos and being generally hyper active throughout the streets of Osaka.

Actually, you don’t even need to know that. Pictures talk.

I think this has been my most “authentic” Japanese day yet witnessed.

Lanterns... lots of them.

Moving shrines...


.... and aged.

After watching the “festival”, we walked around the streets of Osaka and it was so different from  the Japanese streets I had been walking through. Very narrow alleys, where  I actually spotted what so far has been nonnexistent in Japan:


Nothing is perfect...

There were small, kiosk-like shops scattered all over the place, and after a long walk between shops on both side of the streets and when it was lunch time, we decided to have a lunch as authentic as the rest of our day.

Squid. Looks fishy, tastes fishy...

But what makes my day super-authentic is not just witnessing a traditional festival where everyone around me is acting hard-core Japanese. It’s just walking around the streets (away from the gaijin-packed Hirakata city) observing people and things and taking the train that makes me happiest.

Japanese girls who willingly posed for a picture...

Train. Rush hour. Man reading manga. In Japan. Could I ever be happier?

I feel I am finally getting this place. It’s been only three weeks but I already learned some tips and tricks. I know asking about prices, buying grocery from a Japanese store and eating with chopsticks doesn’t count as much. But still, it feels good.

Can’t wait for another week to start.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alaa
    Sep 20, 2010 @ 19:12:22

    bravo ya dina. wallahi ana fa7’or beky. go on. miss u


  2. Jake
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 21:01:14

    Hey Dina,

    I’m honestly kinda jealous that you got to go to the Danjiri festival. I missed it cause I was helping out with the orientation for the High School students. I am still fascinated with Japan too, but everyone has there own way of looking at things. I enjoy seeing the way you view Japan as much as you enjoy my view! I’m glad I am not the only one updating my blog 🙂


  3. Maha el Kholy
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 22:53:40

    Amazing 🙂


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