Monday, May 08, 2006

Where was that festival again?

Ok, I'm sorry I've been away for so long! It has been a busy busy week, I've seen parts of Kanazawa I never knew existed, and had plenty of fun walking all over creation with my poor limping mother. (She hurt her knee last Friday, and has been operating with a cane and knee brace since.)

On Thursday I thought it would be a good idea to get out of Kanazawa a bit, so on a whim we went up into the Noto peninsula, Wakura Onsen. Our goal was to see the coastline up there, which is supposed to be very beautiful, but after a fair piece of walking we discovered that the whole beach was closed off in that area. Feeling disgruntled we started walking back towards the station and ran into the most statistically unlike person ever.

A Mexican.

Yup! Now, when you break down people living in Japan by nationality, it starts with well over half being Korean, Chinese, or Phillipino. Very small percentages of Brits, Americans, Aussies and the like. A smattering of Nigerians and such. Mexico doesn't even rate an entry. They get other. Now this is one of the things that really really makes me cry about Japan. No Mexicans, no Mexican food. But here, deep in the wilds of Ishikawa there was a really cool guy who made a living as a Mariachi singer in the local ritzy hotels! How cool is that?

So he told us that one stop down the line in Nanao was a big festival where they push huge 'boats' through the streets. So we took a bus down to Nanao and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Mr. Donut. We followed the herds of people down the street to a lane of food vendors and game booths. There were a fair number of people, and the day was gloriously warm, but there were no massive 'boats.' None whatsoever. MIA boats. We kicked around the port a bit, then saw on a tourist information map that Nanao had Orchid Land, a botanical garden devoted to orchids.

Mom LOVES orchids. Which is understandable, they are pretty cool flowers after all. So when she caught wind of it, it was Orchid Land or Bust! We had to take a taxi to the edge of town, but the driver actually knocked a dollar off the fare when we got there. I have no idea why, but we weren't complaining.

I got the chance to try my hand at a bit more flower photography, which is always fun, and mom got to stare in wonder at the flowers this hot wet climate can produce. She works miracles in her own collection, given the climate she has to work with, but nothing compared to the glories found here.

So the next day I did some checking on the web and saw that the nearby town of Uchinada was having their world famous kite flying festival on the beach. With the opportunity both for a real beach and another festival, we hopped a local line train and struck out for the beach.

Kites? What kites? When we got there we found enough wind for a as many kites as you could wish for, but no actual festival and no actual kites. I have no idea what time everything was set for though, so we may have been too early.

Kites or no, we had a blast at the beach. There were windsurfers all over the streach of beach we sat down on, and next door were.. I don't know what they are called. Para-surfers? Anyway, guys on short surfboards hooke into a big para-sail. They could get going pretty fast with the stiff wind, and hit a wave right they caught some serious air. It was great fun to watch them and just hang out at the beach. I got sun burned though. I also finally had a chance to wear shorts, so the blog title is no longer a slight white lie. The guy is back in shorts!

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Those were the kites... it's called kite surfing!!!! :)