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Last week, my wonderful parents stopped by Noheji after a grueling month long tour of Asia and I had the pleasure of showing them around the joint.
Lucky for me, their JR rail pass got them all the way to Noheji station so I didn't have to drive far to pick them up.
Soon after the train arrived my dad appeared in the station... but wait a sec, where's mom?
Oh, I see. She's on the platform still trying to get her heavy suitcase up the long staircase. When she finally made it into the station she had some harsh words for my father. For the first time in one and half years I felt like I was home.
I took them later that night to their first yakiniku dinner at 'Oh Ban', otherwise known as Noheji's only good restaurant. My mom is somewhat chopstick-a-phobic, but came armed with her own plastic knife and fork. The waiter noticed her unfortunate utensil predicament and retrieved from the back a metal fork in its own special fork doily!
While Noheji has all sorts of splendid and wonderful sights to see, I decided instead to forgo a tour of the town and drove my folks up to the smelly and foreboding Mount Osorezan.
Having my folks around gave me a chance to check a few more items off my list of things to see and do in Aomori. Pet a wild horse, check!
The next day I took the scenic route to Hirosaki from Noheji by driving over the Hakkoda mountains.
We ropewayed it up to the peak, but didn't stick around too long as the nature trails were still burried under snow. The backcountry ski course was still open for desperate powder junkies, though Melanie, Francois and Luke were nowhere to be seen.
Next stop was Hirosaki. We picked up Kate and headed out for some okonomiyaki.
Neither Kate nor I are very experienced with Okonomiyaki restaurants and we weren't sure exactly how to prepare our food after we accidentally ordered something that turned out not to be okonomiyaki. I thought about asking this girl for help until I saw what was written on the back of her shirt.
Go inside Hirosaki Castle, check!
Pretend to be a Neputa float, check!
Take of picture of that wood thing at the Sannai-Maruyama site, check!
There was a Michinoku wrestling show on that night in Aomori City. Local hero Rasse actually had quite an impressive entrance with his own Nebuta band accompanying him to the ring. Sadly however Rasse lost his match in the night's big tag-team tournament.
For once we weren't the only gaijin at a Michinoku show. There was this mysterious fella with a press badge, who was guided around everywhere by a Japanese dude with a tripod. He was even using the exact same camcorder I use, the GS100K. All I need is some Japanese guy to guide me around and maybe I can start getting into wrestling shows for free!
The happy go lucky Satoh twins (whom you may remember getting beat down by my shoe a while back) have apparently turned heel since the last time I saw them. Now they were the ones grabbing foreign objects from the crowd and attacking their opponents with them. They advanced to the finale of the tournament after chaining Minamino upside-down to the ring post, but eventually lost to a wrestler named "Oishi" and some other guy. I captured some of the action from the night in this short video.
For those of you wondering what happened to my parents, don't worry, they were there too! I could hardly believe it when my mom agreed to go. While she'll never admit it in a million years, I suspect she actually enjoyed the show quite a bit.
One of the most memorable matches of the night featured The Great Sasuke take on the almost naked Otoko Sakari. A couple of teenage bad boys next to us really had a thing for Sakari and kept showing Kate his picture.
Unlike the younger and skinnier nearly naked wrester from previous Michinoku shows, this one seemed to be taking a page from the book of Hard Gay and frequently placed his opponent in rather compromising positions.
After winning the match in a confusing finish that involved Sasuke's hand in Sakari's ass crack, the great one walked around the ring wiping off his ass-stink hand on the heads of small children. What a show!
The next day my dad found a life-sized replica of himself outside a KFC at the new Towada Aeon Supercenter.
We were heading south from Noheji to Shingo village on a spiritual journey to see the "Tomb of Christ", or as it's known to Christians "The Most Blasphemous Place on Earth". In case you weren't aware, Jesus Christ never died on the cross as some would have you believe (or in India as these guys believe), but he in fact died in Aomori at the ripe old age of 106. Don't believe me? Well, just read this sign. Still not convinced? Then here's an official plaque from the city of Jerusalem Israel just two feet away from the final resting place of Christ and his little known brother Izakuri. What more evidence do you need? I don't know about you, but I'll be celebrating Izakurimas every December 25th from now on. That is unless Izakuri's family name is also Christ I suppose. Anyway, for info on Christ's grave you can check out local ALT Ewen's take on the place.
Shingo's smaller but no less fantastic claim to fame is its two pyramids,
which the locals say date back even further than the ones in Egypt. We somehow drove past pyramid one, but eventually found pyramid two after a steep 200 meter ascent up a mountain trail. This pyramid, cleverly disguised as a rock, must hold one short mummy inside as it was at most 10 feet tall. Anyway, Tomb of Christ and Shingo Pyramids, check!
After taking in one of Aomori's least well known tourist destinations, we drove on to Lake Towada, probably the most popular place in the prefecture to see.
Indiana John lead a small army of junior highschoolers to the waiting sightseeing boats, but didn't get on one himself as his wife didn't feel like a boat tour that day.
Two maidens, two Canadians, one big old deep lake.
My parents came a little late to see the cherry blossoms in Hirosaki, but they at least got to see some at the lake thanks to the high elevation of the ancient volcano crater it sits in.
That night we had dinner at Gusto, and then the next morning my folks were back on their way home. It was really nice to get a chance to show them where I've been hiding these past three years. Of course it won't be long until we're reunited again as my time here in Japan is getting shorter and shorter every day. Oh please Izakuri Christ, I beg of you, help me find a way to continue avoiding life once I return home to Canada!
i saw your site for the first time yesterday…it’s amazing! very very entertain!! thank you and keep up the good work.
I’m surprised that the Michinoku wrestlers didn’t try to involve your dad into the wrestling shenanigans. Actually if your dad took off his shirt and left those white pants on, he’d look like an old version of Randy of Trailer Park Boys fame.
You had better hope you don’t run into my dad in Toronto after that comment Hugh! Once he takes off his pants he’s one vicious fighting machine.
I’ve been compared to John Crosby, Phil Donahue, and more recently Philip Seymour Hoffman but never Randy of T P B’s. I’m sure you can invite Hugh over when you get home and we can discuss this matter futher.
aint no one stopping randy when hes gonna fight with his pants off. no one i tell ya. ps. i reckon trinity is back on the cigarits. but hey, its monday so lets all get drunk as **** and go smoke some d**e.
season 6 , magic. cheeseburger picnic. wow.
I lived in Noheji back in 2001 and 2002, the pictures are really bringing it back. Thanks for the posts!
Wow really? Why on earth did you do that? Did you know Kylie Ruth, my predecessor? I think I was the only gaijin in town when I lived there, however they may have been some Philipina snack bar girls as well.
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