Saturday, October 07, 2006

Japan: Hiroshima - The Beautiful Water

Sake - referred to as "the beautiful water" and what better place to do sake tasting than at the SAKE FESTIVAL!!! This an annual event held in October, where all the sake breweries all over Japan come together in the city of Saijo. Lucky for us, Saijo is a short train ride away from Hiroshima.

The Sake Festival is a 2-day event, drawing tons of people to wander thru streets of food vendors, sake houses, and finally drinking yourself into an oblivion in the main tent. Sightings of passed out Japanese men were plenty (my friend almost sat down on someone's head who was passed out on a bench). Not drinking sake much in the past, I find it's a bit like wine tasting. There are many kinds of sake ranging from dry -sweet. As well as cloudy - clear. Some are grainy and gross, the exceptional ones are nicely balanced and have a range of flavors. Course after 4 or 5 cups, it all tastes the same... Sake cups are teeny tiny and the sake can be served warm or cold. At the festival, there were over 200 breweries represented and were divided into the region it is from. Each was given a number, course we just picked blindly and guessed any number to try.

Me, my sidekick Iddya and Sake barrels .......................fresh tofu....................................Inside Main Tent.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Japan: Hiroshima - Drag Queens and Transvestites

Yes. Yes. There are Drag-queens in Hiroshima! If you know Hiroshima, it is very suprising since it's a little more traditional than other cities like Tokyo. But as a resident, you soon find out Japan is actually a perverse society of closet sex freaks.

It was 5,000 yen (about $40-$45) a person to reserve a seat and have all you can drink and see the show. I went with a bunch of girlfriends and we had a great time! The girls sit behind the bar and serve you drinks, lights your cigarette, and make conversation with you...kinda like a hostess bar. Later during the night the show starts and unlike some drag queen shows I've seen in the U.S., they don't sing, just dance and some strip. Most of them have real breasts and one went the Full Monty - took everything off. Yes, she was fixed in both places. Amazing, really! Check out my pics (sorry, can't post anything indecent...wouldn't want my site classified as porn):

Was once a man (on the right)...................................Hot bod, Cher look alike..................What the bar looks like