All Lit Up And Loving It


Oh. Man. Today was loaded and it started off on 3 hours of sleep because my butt finished classes today and if you know me, you know I procrastinate and had shit to do at 3 am. Ughhh, it was not fun getting up and functioning this morning. Class was fun though, with some weird movie called Densha Otoko (電車男:Train Man) in which mr. awkward-as-the-sole-liberal-at-Christmas falls in love with some rando on a train and, after realizing how annoying it was to brush it out of his eyes every five seconds, decided to get a haircut in addition to his overall makeover for this girl. We only watched the beginning, but now I have me some plans for the break. I also got my x-ray back today, all filled out and TB-free. As I expected, but still a relief to see and have in my hands.

After the day at Doshisha wrapped up I headed home to crank out some papers, which are still in progress as I write/post this but oh well. The avoidance was well worth the day I had.

Once okaa-san got home around 5 we headed off on various buses and trains to hit Kobe, which is at least an hour and a half away. This was another random trip sparked by a question, specifically about a facebook video featuring magical lights in Japan. When I showed okaa-san she excitedly explained that it was just over in Kobe and we should go – so we did. Apparently every year since the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 the city has put up a fantastic light display sparked in honor of the many victims who died that day. It’s basically a long street with huge arching lights up and around it that then breaks off into pieces; a park with a pagoda all decked out, a little plaza with a pond featuring live music, that type of breaking off. All of these were buzzing with people, from the ones walking around eternally taking pictures to the stall merchants with a variety of delicious-looking foods (including cotton candy on some magical glowing light stick!) to those collecting donations in honor of the earthquake victims. Quite a place.

Before that was a pit stop to Chinatown though, and since I do things chronologically we’re starting the night here. This is my 3rd Chinatown, after the ones in Honolulu and Yokohama, and had great food. Over the course of the night we ended up with bubble tea, sesame dango, a pork burger, agemochi with nori, the magical leaf rice thing, and last but not least . . . koori! It was mango, like real mango pieces, with a teensy bit of strawberries and what tasted like Turkish ice cream – sticky, sort of tacky and oh so good. Oh that was some of the best koori I’ve ever had, I love this magical country.

The koori from heaven:


Okay, now for the lights! They were absolutely stunning, felt kind of Eastern-European to me what with the patterns, and it was just amazing! I mean they used thousands of lights to create what must’ve been over 20 feet tall just for the inner tunnel, never mind the impressively stacked entrance.The main tunnel, which ended within maybe 40 feet, was followed by light arcs for another 60 or so feet after that. Spectacular. This lead out into a park with a gazebo, all of which were also lit up. What was really amazing were seeing all the strings that were mostly invisible and holding everything together. It was a complex spider web of mostly translucent wiring, madly intertwined above the whole thing yet completely unnoticed.

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Next we wandered off towards the aforementioned plaza, which had a rainbow-lit water fountain spurting off streams of water in a peculiar pattern. We weren’t even there for a minute before they shut off though, which was sad. I mean the entire stretch of lights above a stage, the two rainbow-lit towers, any activity from the fountain, it was all down and silent. Until it wasn’t, when music started blasting from the speakers and the displays all lit up gloriously in time with the beat. Man was it spectacular, one of those things I’ve always wanted to see but never had the chance to.

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