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Metal Festivals in Tokyo

26 May

Every October for the past ten years, there is a two-day heavy metal music festival in the Tokyo area called “Loudpark“.

This year it is scheduled for 2015 October 10th (Sat) and October 11th (Sun).

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11.

Some of the major bands that are billed to play are: Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. Three of the “Big Four“!

And then the following month, there will be another big heavy metal festival in the Tokyo area!
OzzFest Japan is scheduled for 2015 November 21st (Sat) and November 22nd!

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st - 22nd.

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st – 22nd.

Unlike Loudpark, OzzFest doesn’t have a long history in Japan. This will only be the second OzzFest in this country so far.

The first OzzFest Japan ever was held in May of 2013. I went to it with a friend of mine.
(Click here to read my post about it.)

I saw Black Sabbath, among other bands, at OzzFest Japan 2013…and they were initially billed to headline OzzFest Japan 2015, but it’s been changed for whatever reason…Ozzy will still be playing with his solo band instead.

The main acts of OzzFest Japan 2015 will be: Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, KoRn Bullet For My Valentine, and Evanscence.

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Narita

16 Feb

The city of Narita in Chiba Prefecture, Japan is usually associated with the international airport that is there.

People not so familiar with Japan may think that Japan’s “Narita International Airport is in Tokyo…but Narita is a part of Chiba, which is near Tokyo.

(There is an international airport in Tokyo…it’s “Haneda International Airport“.)

The airport isn’t the only reason to go to Narita City though.
成田山新勝寺 (Narita-san-Shinsho-ji) is a beautiful famous temple that has many wonderful festivals and events.
The area near the temple has many traditional Japanese shops and restaurants.

Narita is known for ウナギ (freshwater eel). There are a number of restaurants there that serve it…it’s delicious! If you visit Narita, you should try it!

Anyways, it had been awhile since we’ve visited Narita…so we went there yesterday. Here are some photos I took:

Japanese children’s cartoon character “Baikin-man”.

It says that Narita is “a traditional Japanese hospitality town”.

These are “Daruma”…a traditional Japanese ornament most commonly seen at New Year’s time.

 

A 「たこやき」 (Grilled octopus dumplings) stand.

 

The entrance to 「成田山新勝寺」 (“Narita-san-Shinsho-ji”) temple.

 

A lion guard at the entrance to 「成田山新勝寺」 (“Narita-san-Shinsho-ji”) .

 

A 「招き猫」 (Maneki-Neko lucky cat).

 

The 7-Eleven store there has a brown sign to keep with the style of the area.

Japan’s Batman

2 Sep

In the Chiba area of Japan, near Tokyo, is a superhero who looks identical to “Gotham City’s” Batman.

The Japanese counterpart is called 「千葉ットマン」 (“ChiBatman“).

chibatman

He has been cruising the streets of the Tokyo area, not fighting crime, but bringing smiles to people since the March 11th 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake…but wasn’t famous until a junior high school boy noticed him and took a photo and tweeted it.

That photo was re-tweeted thousands of times (including by me). Of course, with that many re-tweets the international media noticed. And there have now been reports about ChiBatman in many countries’ news sources…such as the BBC.

Hina-matsuri

3 Mar

Today is 「ひな祭り」 (Hina-matsuri (“Princess (Doll) Festival“)) in Japan.

It’s sometimes still called “Girls’ Day” because families with daughters set-up special elaborate doll displays of Japanese royalty and eat a special sushi dinner.

The city of Katsuura in Chiba Prefecture is known for their huge Hina-matsuri display.

katsuura-hina1

This year’s display could be seen there until today (2014 March 3rd).

chirashi

Even if you can make it to that area to see their big doll display, Katsuura is still a very beautiful place to visit.

katsuura-torii

KISS “Monster Tour”, Japan

20 Oct

I saw KISS in concert yesterday!  I have seen KISS a bunch of times…but this was one of their best shows!

They changed their stage, costumes and set list!  They played a number of songs that I’ve never heard in concert before!

The setlist:

  • Psycho Circus
  • Shout It Out Loud
  • Do You Love Me?
  • I Love It Loud
  • Hell Or Hallelujah
  • War Machine   (Gene’s fire breathing)
  • (Sukiyaki)
  • Heaven’s On Fire
  • Calling Dr. Love
  • Say Yeah
  • Shock Me / Outta This World
  • (Tommy’s guitar solo / Eric’s drum solo & bazooka)
  • (Gene spits blood , bass solo and “flies” to rafters)
  • God Of Thunder
  • Lick It Up
  • (Paul “flies” over audience to mini-stage)
  • Love Gun
  • Rock N Roll All Night

Encore:

  • Detroit Rock City
  • I Was Made For Lovin’ You
  • Black Diamond

Here are some photos that I took:

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Have you ever seen a KISS show?

Yokoso Japan!

14 Jun

「ようこそジャパン」 (Yokoso Japan!) means “Welcome to Japan!“, and is the Japan National Tourism Organization‘s official slogan of their campaign to attract foreign visitors to Japan.

「Yokoso Japan!」 logo

「Yokoso Japan!」 logo

Here are some of their Yokoso Japan! campaign ads.

Most of the scenes in this first one are of Tokyo (there are a few shots of Osaka, etc…but most of it is Tokyo):

These show many parts of Japan:

Do they make you want to visit this beautiful country?

IKEA

19 Apr

Do you know IKEA?

ikea-logo

IKEA is a chain of stores that look like warehouses and sell furniture, food, toys, and various other items for the home.
IKEA stores are all over the world now, but the company is Swedish (the store’s colors are the same as the Swedish flag).

swede-flag

In the 1970’s, IKEA opened stores in Japan but they weren’t successful in Japan and had to withdraw from the Japanese market in the 1980’s.
But, a few years ago, they decided to try their luck in Japan again…and they seem to be doing much better this time.

There are currently five IKEA stores in Japan.

I had never been inside an IKEA store until yesterday.
I remember, though, when they were building their first store in Japan a few years ago…because it was built on the spot that the “SSAWS Ski Dome” had been for so many years.

The SSAWS Ski Dome was the world’s biggest indoor downhill-skiing arena. It was called “SSAWS” because it offered snow skiing all year round, and the name was an acronym for “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter Skiing”.

The outside of the "SSAWS Ski Dome".

The outside of the "SSAWS Ski Dome".

Inside the "SSAWS Ski Dome".

Inside the "SSAWS Ski Dome".

I used to see the giant, cool-looking SSAWS Ski Dome all the time and I always thought to myself that I was going to go in there and try it out one day. But that day never came because about five or six years ago, they closed down and it was torn down.

And then IKEA bought the land a few years ago and built their warehouse store. I had never heard of IKEA before then and I wondered what it was.
I was kinda disappointed when I found out. The world’s largest indoor ski-lift was there…and it was replaced with a giant furniture store! How disappointing!

But yesterday, my wife and I decided to look inside the IKEA store.

I had heard that many foreigners shop there because, mainly, they miss food from their home-country and IKEA sells imported food.
I did see many foreigners shopping there, so I guess it’s true.

But, for me personally, I’m more used to Japanese foods…so actually alot of the imported foods that I saw in IKEA looked odd to me.

We enjoyed looking around IKEA…but we didn’t buy anything.

IKEA Japan

IKEA Japan

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