Showing posts from August, 2013

Japanese Bear Park

I had to bear my beer aloft to see the bears at Noboribetsu Bear Park in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. At the park it certainly wasn't bare of bear but fortunately the bears weren't grizzly and found us humans bearable especially as we had treats to bring to bear. They could barely contain themselves shamelessly pandering to us with paws to the wall antics.
When the cuteness became near unbearable, I took a pawse and went to the Ainu section where they had squirrels and tanuki - Japan's raccoon dog. Despite the legends, the tanuki did not have a ginormous scrotum that kind which smothered many hapless hunters in mythical tales of freudian overtones.
They also have duck racing - I lost 200¥ on a lame duck. It costs about 2500¥ to visit the park and you get a gondola ride up the mountain which has some nice scenery. This is definitely a safer way to see Japanese brown bears rather than risking an encounter in the wild. There are still grizzly memories of a bear …

Japanese Devil Fireworks - Oni Hanabi in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido

Fireworks and devils! Cool festival event in Noboribetsu in Hokkaido were Oni (Japanese devils) carry tubes that shoot fiery sparks high into the sky. The origin of the festival goes back to the misty past of a few years ago in an effort to drum up tourism. Works for me.
Oni Hanabi goes on for about two months from June to the second week of August every Thursday and Friday starting at 8:30pm and lasting about 30 minutes.

Yasukuni Shrine August 15th, 2013 Japan WWII Surrender Anniversary

On August 15, 1945 Japan officially surrender thus ending WWII. The controversial Yasukuni Shrine which houses all war dead from 1867 to WWII including war criminals attracts a fair bit of attention on this day. Prime Minister Abe chose to visit the shrine by proxy.
Every year there is a peace protest which actually skirts south of the shrine heavily guarded by police and dogged by rightwingers. There are some scuffles with the police but nothing too serious.
Yasukuni Shrine August 15th 1945 Japan unconditionally surrendered ending WWII

WWII Japanese soldier re-enactor

Uh....? Um....? No comment!

One of the infamous black vans which blare out propaganda and rightwing music
 Rightwing Stylin'
Police stop a van with an Imperial crest on it which means rightwingers 
Pro-Japan March