Today is my first day off in six days, so I wanted to make the most of it. I decided to go to Yoyogi Park, which borders Shibuya, Harajuku, and, you guessed it, Yoyogi. I woke up, got ready, and the image on the right is what I ended up with.First I walked through Shibuya's shopping district, since it was on the way, and I went into one of my favorite stores, INGNI (which is pronounced "ingu" for some reason...) and found something I had been looking for for months now: a denim vest! Luckily, since it's Golden Week, there was a sale. This pleased my wallet and me, so we bought it.
After that, it was onward to the park! But wait...
Before arriving at the park, I walk past NHK hall, which is where ザ少年倶楽部 (The Shounen Club) is filmed. For those who don't know, this is a variety show starring the junior members of my
favorite talent company, Johnny's. It involves a lot of good looking boys singing and dancing and playing games in very unfortunate costumes. Sometimes
I'm not sure if I watch it to sigh over hot guys with lots of talent, or to laugh hysterically at their failure to look cool whilst wearing costumes like this:
Silver, purple, and black with a leopard print scarf. Steven Tyler, eat your heart out.
Walking past was kind of nostalgic, because I was reminded of the times I walked past with other people. Corinna, Flynn, Dai, etc.
By the time I got there, however, there was a hug commotion and what looked like a festival. After some searching, I found a banner that read "Shibuya Park Road Flower Festival". Well, I love Japanese festival food, so that made me really happy.
To the left is an example of the flower arrangements they made for the festival. This was my favorite arrangement--cut roses with such a heavy perfume that it made me, oddly enough, want to take a bath! I thought this arrangement was a beautiful expression of art for art's sake. The people who did the arrangement were also selling tiny bouquets and, though I didn't buy one, I might have been tempted to had there been anyone else with me to give one to.
I couldn't find my favorite festival food, taiyaki, (which is basically a fish-shaped pancake-sandwich filled with sweet red-bean paste, custard, or chocolate), so I bought a chocolate-covered banana with sprinkles. I continued walking through the festival when suddenly drums, and loud yelling caught my attention from the back side of NHK hall. I could see a crowd of people, and over the crowd there was a huge (and I mean huge) blue flag, which rippled and dove as a man swung it.
There was a huge performance of Japanese traditional-style dance going on, and I was lucky enough to take some footage of it!
This was my favorite group.
I'm not entirely sure, but in every group, the dancers shouted, and often yelled "arigatou gozaimasu!" ("thank you"), so it must be a dance of thanks. I think it's a very spiritual and expressive form, and there was as much facial movement among the dancers as there was bodily movement. I was glad to be able to see it. There was something very old and almost elemental about it. Sharp, fast movment's that were like fire, low, wide reaches that reminded me of earth, smooth, graceful bends or waves of the hand that rippled like water, and spinning leaps into the air. I kind of wanted to try it myself, because the dancers themselves seemed transported, like they weren't even dancing, but feeling.
After that, I finally made it to Yoyogi park. There were lot's of people there, and tons of foreigners. I think I was the only person there who was by herself, so it was a little lonely, but I parked myself on the grass and read a book for a while. See, here I am!
Might I also say that badminton is rediculously popular in Japan? I'm not sure why, but everywhere I looked people were either playing badminton, catch, or frisbee.
I want to play games in the park. I will try to organize something with friends before too long.