I went on Thursday night with Lexi and Friday night with Julian, Masae and her cute boys, Sato and Tsutomu and ran into Allison as well. Here's a street shot, so you can get an idea of the number of people and see all the stalls lining the streets. I heard there were 800 food, game and souvenir booths. It seemed like everyone was out and about. I saw many students from this past year.
Thursday night it was raining so there weren't as many people. I walked around with Lexi for hours. When we wandered over to the train station there were at least 3 big buses and riot police standing at the station. I think the buses were paddy wagons. There were gangs of kids dressed in big puffy pants that workmen usually wear and matching shirts with a lot of embroidered kanji lettering and pictures. The kids were seeing how far they could push the police by walking up to them, talking to them, throwing stuff or just being rowdy, nothing too scary, but it's always nerve racking when you see riot police.
The police just held their ground and watched. Surrounding the action was a huge group of spectators. It was fascinating.
Lexi warned me not to take pictures because they might get mad. Some of the gang members cover their faces with bandanas so the police don't recognize them. The next night they were out again. Masae told me that there were police present from all over the Hyogo Prefecture to make sure nothing bad happend. If you go to my friend, Allison's blog, you can see a picture of the riot police and even a picture of me and Julian. She didn't take any pictures of the gangs either. Maybe next year, I can sneak one with my cell phone camera.
Friday night we met up with our friend, Masae and her family. We ate great food, played games and wandered around.
We went to a "Horror House" with Sato. It wasn't scary at all, but it was certainly fun. I kept screaming for fun!
We also saw these crazy dancers. They were playing really loud and super fast techno music. The dancing had coordinated arm movements with just a little rocking side by side, no foot action at all. I sometimes see these kids practicing downtown in front of their car, which blares the music, as they dance away the night. It was really fun!
Our new camera takes 16 continuous shots, not sure if you'll be able to see the pictures on my blog, but thought it was a cool function anyway.