Wednesday, August 28, 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 attack from a century ago when one killed seven people and possibly a few more before that so bear that in mind before you think to jump the railing and bare your soul to these majestic creatures.

Bear up Bear down

Just bear us in mind

Pardon me, I'm a little grizzly 

Black bear performer bears watching

Raccoon Dog - Tanuki

Hang on! Lost my bearing!

Gondola ride to the bear park 

The crows are there to snatch treats from slow bears

But most bears don't bear a grudge against the crows

Bear hoping humans will toss one of those juicy kids

Barefoot in the Park

Bear arms to catch treats

Bear with me, folks, but she's cool

I bare my soul

Paws right there

Unbearably pandaring 

I'd like to bear witness to a treat

Bearing the brunt of a full aerobic workout

Proof that the park's breeding program does bear fruit

Ainu Style Buildings

Ainu Dave - did you?

I can't bear this pun-ishment anymore

Sunday, August 18, 2013

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.

Friday, August 16, 2013

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

Peace Protester says his peace 

Peace March
Tojo with a swastika on his head

Rightwinger looking distraught that he can't hurt anyone (or pretend to want to) 

Rightwinger gives Cop an earful 

Peace protestor dressed as a kitsune - fox

Didn't I see these guys in Pink Floyd's The Wall? 

 Whoa! I'd invade her Manchuria!

 That surreal feeling of smugness at catching a Japanese nationalist buying a frappuccino at Starbucks




About Me

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Tokyo, Japan
Vagabond traveler currently hold up in Tokyo. I've done a far bit of traveling and had a few interesting adventures along the way. This blog is a chronicle of adventures past and present and those yet to come. I’ve been to about 30 countries though some no bigger than a kitchen table. I’ve run with the bulls of Pamplona, hiked the Inca Trail, got mugged in Mexico City, floated down the Nile in an old boat, climbed the Great Pyramid of Egypt, got ripped at Oktoberfest, and rode the notorious Tokyo Yamanote Halloween Party Train.