Tuesday, October 23, 2007

10/23/07 Music Festival

Sunday Tung (the Australian guy) and I went to a nearby city called Kiryu to attend the "Kiryu Music Fronts 2007" music festival. While I am not a huge music guy, these days I take just about every chance to be social or see another place that I can get my hands on. It turned out that this was an especially good chance to explore.

It didn't take long after boarding the train to Kiryu until we both realized that we really had no idea where in the city we were going. A Japanese friend of ours who works at a guitar shop in Ashikaga told us about the show and got us some tickets, but we failed to ask for directions. Sometimes I enjoy just figuring it out along the way, as it gives me a chance to practice my Japanese on the population and it makes me feel like a victorious master of languages when we finally stumble into our destination.

So when we took our first steps out of the station and saw the sun-rayed streets of Kiryu, I was ready to get to business. Definitely ask for directions a bunch of times, maybe take a taxi or two, I am independent and generally awesome and can handle it all. Of course, I didn't even have enough time to say this all in my head before we walked by a music shop with our event's posters plastered on the windows. So I walk right up to a guy in the store and lay out my demands. I ask him where might a ticket bearing individual like myself find said musical festival. His reply, "below". Eureka! My orienting skills had led us right to the spot! We triumphantly walked down the stairs to catch the end of one of the bands' shows, less than a block away from, and still in sight of, the train station. Around this time, we realized that the performances weren't all going to be in one place, instead they were scattered all over an area within walking distance of the train station. Pretty exciting. I won't go into the bands themselves... they weren't all that exciting. We only saw a couple, but they insisted on singing mostly in English, and their accents were so bad that it was hard for me to get into it. Oh well.

We also did a good amount of wandering around a couple of the main streets, and saw a few interesting shops and things. I found a used stuff-store and I had myself a look. Mostly a bunch of weird useless things... but one useless thing caught my eye. A cheap first day cover(a stamp fancily canceled on the first day it is sold, for those of you that aren't so hip) in a frame and everything has now entered my collection. Hurray! The old lady I bought it from yammered on about who painted it and whatnot, but all I gathered is that the artist lives somewhere somewhat nearby. Quite an enjoyable day.

I know a certain framed stamp that's going on the wall in my apartment...

Here's Tung trying to find his way out of a labyrinth of little robot models at a mom and pop toy store we discovered.

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