Festival Fun

The street in front of our house was closed for a few hours this afternoon for the annual YOSA KOI Dance Parade. The local commerce committees of neighborhoods at either end of the street hosted street party festivals and we spent the day being entertained and nibbling on barbecued seafood.

The kids were in a contest to see who could drink a bottle of fizzy soda called ramune http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramune the fastest to win two seats at a soccer game on Sunday night. My son finished first in his group of 6 1st and 2nd graders and then my daughter finished first in her group of 3rd and 4th graders so we now have 4 "SS reserved seats" at Ajinomoto Stadium in western Tokyo for a J League professional soccer game between Tokyo Verdy 1969 and Thespa Kusastu. It's nearby so I may send the kids alone if they're all ready for school the next day. I could wait outside at a cafe.

We were given some tickets for a neighborhood raffle. The prizes were donated by shops along the street where we live so they ranged from coupons for free massages at a neighborhood clinic, 11 lb boxes of greenhouse tangerines, autographed soccer goods, household electronics, cosmetics, coupons for yakitori chicken, rice crackers, a digital flat screen TV, a fancy semi-powered bicycle, 22 lb bags of rice etc. Friends and I laughed about how much we'd appreciate some of the prizes and which prizes we didn't really need, like a hair dryer or 30 lbs of kibble (not much hair, no dog).

The drawing began and a neighbor was the first to win a 5,000 yen box of two deluxe watermelons. We only had a few tickets and didn't expect to win anything but were enjoying the afternoon breeze and just being out with friends. It was a very big surprise to hear our number being called for the next prize, which was......drum roll......the hair dryer.

I and my friends whooped with laughter as J went up to pick up our new powerful 1200w professional-use beauty tool, retail value 8,190 yen. It is probably nicer than the dryer we already have which nobody ever uses but we've decided to put it up for sale in a local Tell and Sell Yahoo group. I think it would blow what little hair I have right off.