Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sara-Akita trip

This past weekend, Patrick and I went up to Akita as part of my birthday celebration.
Patrick took me to the aquarium there. I really love aquariums, and this one was really fun. So I put together a little video.

After the aquarium we stayed at a very nice onsen (public bath house, one for men, one for women). An onsen is also a hotel.

We had a very spacious room with a good view of the ocean. The room was actually bigger than our apartments!

We had a great dinner of fresh sea food that they brought to our rooms.

The food was incredibly good. And the bath was very relaxing after you get over the shyness.
After dinner and our bathing, we met up again to go to a taiko drumming performance that was at a small community theatre down the street. I can't particularly remember the troupe's name, but they dressed up as Namahage (A type of demon/god of Akita). People usually dress up as these beings for various festivals in Akita. This troupe performed as Namahage as a way of preserving tradition and teaching their culture in Akita. Namahage are beings who would punish/take away bad children so when they performed, the Namahage would wander the audience yelling "Arrgh! Are there any bad children here today?? Are there lazy, or rude children?" Parents were told to hold tightly to their child to protect them from these gods. It was a really great show. The drumming was amazing and it was free. It is a must see for anyone going to Akita.
This is a brief video I put together of the performance. The last piece they performed, I believe they composed themselves. For anyone who is familiar with taiko drumming, you may notice the more modern sound.

The next day we had another wonderful meal. Breakfast was served in their dinning room. It was a traditional tatami mat room. We were the only ones there but it was nice to have a quiet and relaxing morning. After breakfast, we checked out and wandered around the small town and then took the train to Akita city, in Akita. We went to a small art museum and wandered through a nice park. We ate dinner at the train station and then took the shinkansen back to Morioka. Though it was a brief trip, it was a lot of fun.

1 comment:

Nick said...

What a marvelous trip and two professional level films!
Reading and viewing was a great way to start off my day.