Exiting 10-mile radius PART II: Parade, Moon Fest

Trip Start Jul 27, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Japan  ,
Monday, October 9, 2006

After the aquarium we went to check out the infamous Osaka parade. We met up with James' friend YUKI there and her friend SHIN. To give you an idea, Yuki said that although she lives in Osaka, she has never gone to this parade. She wants to avoid all the people and commotion so she just watches it on TV.

There were floats from all over the world in the parade and they had marching bands come in from places like Mexico and Hawaii. Kind of tops the choir trip to Flordia doesn't it? The parade started at 2:00 but we were near the end of the route so it didn't finish until after 6:30. It was crazy long! There were actually two separate sections of the parade. The first half that made the entire route, and a section half that only went halfway. I wasn't sure why they did this but after seeing young children on unicycles, and glamorous dancers in silhouette heels- now I understand.

After the parade we went to explore the 'Moon Viewing Festival' at the Osaka Castle Park. Let's just say it wasn't what any of us were expecting. I saw it in a magazine and kind of assumed it was another Japanese custom. They have firework viewing, fall leave viewing, cherry blossom viewing... and now moon viewing. But the festival wasn't really a festival at all- it was more of a party. They advertised as having 8 different bands playing music from all over the world, and showing video mixes, and having food and drinks. I just pictured a big festival- but it was actually quite small and tucked away in an isolated corner on the top of a hill in a deserted park in the middle of the night. The only Japanese people present spoke pera-pera (fluent) English, and the only food available was cold dominos-style pizza. As for the 8 different bands... yeah they were all playing at the same time. A woman with a cymbal here, a man with an African drum in his lap there, a DJ spinning records, etc. It was a little bit chaotic.

BUT- the view was amazing. We were on top of a hill overlooking the city which was separated from us by the river/mote that surrounded the castle. It made a very picturesque scene with the full moon shining in the background. But with the full moon, and all the random foreigners present... I was kind of waiting for vampires to appear or for someone to turn into a werewolf. Hey it's almost Halloween... my imagination is soaring!
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