This is true even with being in Japan. I don't have that "lets go explore and be adventurous" spirit. I have the "I'm tired of spending money on train rides to see yet another temple or shrine that looks exactly like all the others I've seen".
I'm super fun to be around.
Granted if you came to visit, I would absolutely take you to all these places, but on my own, its not all that fun to me. But I was determined to do something, anything one weekend, and began scouring the internet.
That's when I learned it was the Chinese New Year celebration and it was nearing the end of its (I think) 10 days of celebrating. They had their big parade and since I had never been to a Chinese parade before, in Chinatown no less, I was determined and excited to go.
I arrived in Chinatown a good 20 minutes before it began, but I had no idea where it was going to be, or what roads they'd go down, so I did what anyone would do...followed the crowd. And within 50 yards, I was jam-packed stuck between hundreds of Japanese. There was no moving and thanks to being a head taller than most, I saw why. We were at the very start of the parade.
Being 50 people back was not where I wanted to be to see the parade. I had grand plans to get amazing shots, and all I saw was a sea of black hair. I did the only thing I could do, and that was become a fish going upstream. I pushed and pushed my way out until I could finally breathe and as I was hearing the parade behind me, I hoped and hoped I would find a place to at least catch a glimpse of it.
I made it to the next street over and noticed that people were forming along the side of the road. I figured if Japanese were doing it...it must be a good sign, so I plopped myself on the edge and waited...and waited...and waited for over 30 minutes until finally I saw the flags being waved down the road.
Funny thing about parades here, even with it just 20 feet behind them, people were still walking down the middle of the street like it was any other day. In America, those streets would have been cleared at least an hour before.
Case in point. See the three balloons down the street? That's the start of the parade.
The celebration was fun and different and loud...Chinese and fireworks at all. They lit a bunch of them inside a metal container, for reasons I'm figuring are A) containment B) reduction of potential fires and C) because it'll echo and be 100x louder inside than out.
And loud they were. Eardrums could have burst.
oh and D) so everyone could cough from all the smoke it produced..which they were successful there too.
I'm glad I went and though I was a little sad at first for choosing the sun side of the street, and had to fight with it to get photos; I was happy when I realized the other side was the 'get all the firework smoke' side. The sun wasn't so bad after that.
I should probably break this up into two posts for the amount of photos, but why? ..enjoy!
This guy locked eyes with me, and I'll admit, I was a bit intimidated by it.
The woman on the left kept her beautiful smile throughout the entire performance. I couldn't help but watch her the whole time, she seemed so genuinely happy.
*all images original to Amazing Grapes
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