Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shake your Bon-Bon!

A few weeks ago, Andrew and I had a delightful afternoon enjoying a traditional Japanese Bon Festival at our local Japanese shopping center.

It was liking being swept away to Japan- there were traditional games, yummy festival foods, and even women wearing traditional yukatas (click here to see information on yukatas!) Since I couldn't take all of you wonderful readers to the festival with me, I thought I would bring the festival to you with a photo journey!


The front of the Japanese Shopping Center

Booths lined the sides of the shopping center, and people milled about, looking at all the delicious offerings. There was takoyaki, yakisoba, cotton candy, iced coffee, and many other treats. Some vendors were selling fun festival masks featuring Hello Kitty, Doraemon, and Pokemon!

In the center of the shopping center's parking lot, a stage had been set up. Traditional dances were being performed, as well as awesome Japanese Drum songs.

Women were wearing lovely, traditional yukatas. It has become my goal to buy one for the festival next year! They are so beautiful and seems so comfortable and elegant.

Andre proved to be an expert at the traditional "scooping" games at Japanese festivals.

In the "scooping" games, you are giving a very small paddle, covered with a thin paper covering that dissolves in water. The object of the game is to scoop objects out of the water without ripping your paper net. Goldfish Scooping is extremely popular at Japanese festivals (yes, you scoop live goldfish!), but Andrew decided to try the Toy Scooping because we couldn't take a goldfish home with us. He wound up winning two bouncing balls and an adorable Hello Kitty figurine!

Also at the festival was a book vendor, selling books and magazines for a fantastic price! Granted, all the books and magazines were in Japanese, but that didn't stop me from buying a few....

More Books!!!

Here's Andrew tries his hand at another game. Your goal was to shot suction arrows at a target. If you landed in the center, you got the grand prize- a Nintendo Wii! Andrew didn't win that, but he did get some awesome snack prizes.

This was one of the ultra yummy treats Andrew won. They were biscuit cookies, filled with a cookie and rice crunch filling, shaped like mushrooms. They didn't last long- Andrew and I devoured them and determined that we would definitely be making these a regular purchase!

Another one of Andrew's prizes- Japanese soda! It's called Ramune, and it is surprisingly sweet and tangy. The bottle also has a surprise for the unwary...

Look closely, very closely. Yes, there is a marble is the bottle! There's no danger of swallowing it, but its presences in the bottle makes a little game out of drinking the soda. You have to hold the bottle in just the right way, otherwise the marble blocks the bottle's opening!

All of our snacking made us very hungry, so we decided to hit the food vendors!

Yum! It's yakisoba!

Andrew enjoyed the extremely tangy taste of the yakisoba- I liked the slight crunch of the noodles!

Well, that's it! Keep an eye out for a Bon festival near you- they are lots and lots of fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The King of the Flop

Octavian, my fluffy Ragdoll, is hereby crowned the King of the Flop. He has mastered flopping in the most irresistibly cute ways. Camera happy person that I am, I take lots and lots of pictures of Sir Octavian flopping, so I decided to share some floppy cuteness with you, Dear Readers! See if you can resist the fluffy cuteness!