Sunday, June 14, 2009

Japan's Mysteries

Many aspects of Japanese society confused us. This busty badger, present in numerous restaurants, apparently also confuses the locals as to his intentions. We also did not understand what occasions merit kimono-wearing, nor why we couldn't find more geishas.
Also elusive was the slot-like game called pachinko, which is played in loud, smoke-filled rooms everywhere. You buy ball bearings, put them into pachinko machine and watch them bounce around, and then lose them. Then, even if you only use about half of the balls you buy, you hand them in and they give you a couple of pens, which are your prize. The merits of this system were incomprehensible to us, and I normally like slot machines just as much as the next putz.
More fun was sumo, where you try to push your oponnent out of a ring after sprinkling salt around. Logical, that.Which brings us to sake, which we visited at its brewery. Sake's merits as a delicious beverage bring us joy, while its lack of worldwide popularity are yet another one of Japan's mysteries.