Yeah guys, i thought that the title might grab your attention hehe... Don't worry, it actually is related to what i did today though.
After having so many public holidays here which i never understood the significance of, today was finally a day when the public holiday was related to me! It was the day when Japan celebrates coming of age for everybody who's turned 20 in the last year - and thanks to Ben for realising this, the two of us set out at about 8.30am this morning to see what it was all about.
The ceremony we went to was this one for all the people living in my Kanagawa (i think...) so the turn out was expected to be pretty big. And it was. Getting there was really easy; all we had to do was follow the mass of suit-wearing guys and kimono-wearing girls. Upon arrival we decided that we'd get an interpretor to help us understand what was going on a bit better... After some confusion as to what we wanted (originally the interpreting people were just going to sit at the front and answer questions for english/chinese/korean speaking ppl - but we kind of thought maybe they would come and sit with us and translate for us inside... which they ended up doing) we went inside and grabbed our seats.
Only then did we realise that the interpretors were actually exchange students too - one from Hong Kong (Candy) the other from Taiwan (Anny). They'd both been here for a bit over a year so their Japanese was pretty good though - but the whole lot of us were still using an electronic dictionary at times ehhe. Before we went in we actually met this other American guy who's teaching english here at the moment, but didn't get much of a chance to talk.
Andy, Ben and I before the Seijin-Shiki
Ben, Candy and Me inside
The ceremony itself was a little boring i suppose - given that i didn't understand a lot of what was said beyond the basic gist of things. The last hour or so was dedicated to this Chinese circus act thing which was pretty amazing though. There was a girl who threw plates after plate with her foot and caught them on her head. Catch was she was riding a huge unicycle at the time. Then there was a girl who's act revolved around showing everybody how far she could contort herself. And then showed off how well she could balance trophies on both her feet and head while still being able to do handstands... There were more acts too but it's a bit boring trying to visualise it all (the photos i took came out really blurry due to being so far away).
After the ceremony while standing outside, we came up with this idea of getting a photo with someone in a Kimono. And this is the result after asking some random girl.
Candy, Ben, the girl we randomly asked to take a photo with us (yeah she looks real pleased about it huh) and Anny
Now as for the title guys, let me just try to explain. When you have a huge coming of age ceremony, who is it who turns up? The people who have just turned 20 in the last year of course. Now let's just assume approximately half are female. That gives you about 1000 twenty-year-old Japanese girls dressed up in kimono's all in one place. Hmmm. Definitely the best day for eye candy so far :)
Notice the white things. Now is that a lot of people wearing Kimono's or what...
After walking back and forth through the crowd a number of times, Ben and I grabbed a bite to eat and headed off to this nearby theme park called 'Yomiuri land'. Today, thanks to the coming of age celebrations, it was free entry for anybody who's just 'come of age. And on top of that, one free 'coming of age' bungee jump. Not bad huh :)
Yomiuri Land Mascot
The mascot is apparently some doggy from space - who can't talk, but is able to understand people talking apparently. I just took a photo coz i thought he was a funny mascot :)
The bungee jump was awesome. And well, according to my little 成人式 booklet at least, i'm now a man for having done that lol. But seriously, it's sooo much better than a normal roller coaster because you really free fall - and you don't have anything to hold on to at all, so it's just you, the ground and the rope (well there was a mat underneath but still). Definitely recommended.
The thing on the left is what we bungee jumped off
Those two other tall things to the right of the bungee station are those rides where you get shot up and get dropped down - which makes the bungee look really small. But even though it was only a 22m drop apparently, when you're standing at the edge and about to go it feels pretty damn high :)
Anyway this post is more than long enough, and i've now managed not to do any homework on all three days of my extended weekend so it's time to get cracking!