Friday, July 10, 2009

Being an idol in Japan is no easy task. Other than having to be attractive and cool, you have to be able to sing (at least well enough to be part of a boy band- which inevitably means you need to be able to dance), act in dramas, movies and commercials and then there are the photo shoots. I swear these boys must have photo shoots everyday. Every month, every teenage girl magazine is filled with images (accompanied by articles, interviews, blood types, boy measurements, etc) of the popular boy bands and stars (but really, just boy bands). Oh the price you pay for being a cool, good-looking young man in Japan...

I went to the Sword Musuem yesterday. It was really interesting, I some nice written material about the different kinds to swords, differences between them, differences between the styles of different eras, etc. and also one about how to care for a sword, because apparently the lady you gave it me thought I would need this....

My friend Alex emailed me and invited me to a baseball game with him and his mom who was visiting. It was pretty fun. We bought tickets at the gate and the seats were still really close and pretty cheap. The game was at the Tokyo Dome, which was awesome. The seating capacity was pretty low, but we were inside, so it's understandable. It was also nice because it was nice and cool inside, it was miserably hot and humid out. The game itself wasn't all that exciting. It was the Tokyo Giants against Yokohama Bay Stars. Giants won.
Interesting things about the game:
-unlike American baseball games, there is ton of cheering during the pitch. It was cool. The team at bat would make as much noise as possible.
-there were cheerleaders.
-there were girls wearing small beer kegs on their backs walking up and down the stairs selling beer. There were girls for every major Japanese beer: Asahi, Suntory, Kirin, Ebisu. Then there were girls selling tiny, shot-sized bottles of hard liquor. It was so strange.
-When a relief pitcher came on for Yokohama, the entire stadium erupted in cheers, which was very ironic since it's the Giants stadium. We think the pitcher, who was old, either used to play for the Giants or is a national baseball hero of some kind. He got flowers after his inning.
-The last few innings, the Giants crowd was cheering for Yokohama, again... We couldn't really figure out why, maybe they just like a good game?
- Outside the stadium was a horse betting place. Outside of this stadium was the dirtiest place I'd ever seen in Japan. There were newspapers (with race results) and betting ticket stubs EVERYWHERE. It looked like New York (not that I've been there, but that's what I imagine New York to look like).

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