Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Best thing about visiting Sapporo: the food and the peeps you eat it with

Ahhhh, man. Sapporo's got some good food. Here is Ramen Alley, where many of us ate our second night. I am sorry to admit this, though, that the ramen I eat across the bridge in Kanaya, still reigns supreme.
As you can guess by the name, Ramen Alley has a shitload of Ramen restaurants. Now why did we choose this one? Well the answer comes in the form of the woman holding the Setsubun mask. She came and beckoned us into this restaurant with a shitload of genki-ness.
Forgive me while I plagerize wikipedia for the description of Feb. 3rd. "This traditional holiday, although not a national holiday, marks the beginning of spring. Setsubun inherits a number of traditions peculiar to the season. One of these traditions is mamemaki, the throwing of beans. In which, one throws roasted beans out of one's home, crying oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi ("out with the devils, in with good fortune"). There are regional variations of this saying, and one temple in Nara Prefecture even invites the devils in. During Setsubun, each person also eats a number of beans equal in number to his or her age. In recent years, people in Japan have begun using peanuts instead of Soybeans for this part of the holiday festivities. Supermarkets, however, still stock both peanuts and more traditional soybeans for this purpose."
Am I forgiven?

I included this darker version sos that Justin's crazy genki face could be internet-ally immortalized.
And then, once more.
My vacation roomie and sight-seeing buddy, Grace is modeling the Gangsta pose. The trees are covered in electric blankets. Just kidding, it's straw.
I can't remember whether it was Natasha or Locky who verbally captioned this photo as a great Gap ad. Colorful, happy, without forgetting to capture the mix of nationalities. I believe I'm laughing at Grace's insistance that her arms are disproportionally long, as she proves it by snapping a successful photo.
If this were a video, you'd see me making these legs dance like Chaplin.
We went for all-you-can-eat delicious crab, sushi, tempura and crab pudding soup. We made a bit of a spectacle of ourselves in the following ways: playing with our food, and re-enacting a Ghenghis Khan dinnerparty. We cracked our crab as fast as we could as to get our all-you-can eat monies worth. You should have seen the way were beckoning for the waitors to give us attention. Ahhhh, good times.
Parry's strategy on AYCE crab, is to go on a cracking spree and make large piles, and then shove it all in yr mouth with butter. Jackie, his partner in crime, would guard his piles of crab while he went to the bathroom. And just one more thing about Jackie. On this night, she saved my life. On the way back to the hotel, as we were running to cross the street before the light changed, i managed to slip on some ice. In trying to quickly regain my footing, i continued to fall. The light had changed and the car in front of me was expressing its reluctancy to wait for me by revving its engine. While trying to decided whether I should just crawl to the curb, Jackie came to my rescue and helped me up. Just thought i'd give her some props for her bravery, and give anti-props to the rest of the kids who stood there and laughed at me. Ahhh, ya.....

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