Soccer Action

Most of the world calls it football, however USA and Japan both call it soccer. Two weekends ago I was invited to a soccer game in Kumamoto. Rosso Kumamoto (ロッソ熊本), as the local team is called, played the Arute Takasaki (アルテ高崎) team. I think ‘rosso’ comes from the Italian word for red. As you’ll see, the Kumamoto team is, well, red. I have no idea what ‘arute’ means. Since it’s written in katakana, it’s probably a foreign word. It could be some other language besides English, but I my google searches came up empty. Anyways, on to some pictures.

That’s KKWing Stadium, home to Rosso Kumamoto, and used for other various activities. Looks a little empty doesn’t it? The stadium holds around 32,000 people, and that night 7200 people showed up. Not bad for a local team that’s not even in JLeague, I suppose. Even without many people, it was a lot louder than many sports games I’ve been to back in the states. We sat near a section that was constantly waving flags and singing songs, and the rest of the crowd was into it as well. Most impressive was that the cheering did not let down at all throughout the whole game. It was definately an interesting experience. I had a lot of fun and wouldn’t mind going again sometime.

This group was at full swing from start to finish! Talk about true fans.

Here are some action shots from the game. I’m actually somewhat impressed that the pictures weren’t all blurry.

Kumamoto won that night, 3-2. Here are the champs exiting the stadium:

Beetle Mania

You may already know that The Beatles (the music group) are insanely popular in Japan. In fact, the Japanese recently voted John Lennon as their 27th favorite historical figure. But the other Beetle (the insect) is also quite popular, especially with the kids. They love stag and rhino beetles. There’s even a card game that kids play. They even keep them as pets. Possibly, beetles may even be sold in vending machines. I haven’t witnessed that last one yet, so who knows if the business is still profitable, but if I have a chance I’ll liberate one and let you know. I really don’t think it’s a very good idea for the beetle.

The humidity has been rising like crazy over the last month, so the bugs are out in force. When I come home from work and it’s dark, my front door is swarming with different types of bugs. In fact, there can be as many as 5 to 10 beetles crawling around on the ground, or stuck on my door. I decided to take a few candid photos of them last night and tonight:

I’m calling this guy “The Cruiser.” His brothers and he crawl around outside in front of my apartment. We became friends right away, so quickly in fact that he invited himself into my apartment. I wasn’t in the mood for company, so I politely escorted him out.

I believe these beetles, two green and a brown one, are stink bugs. I like to flick them off the light or my door and then run inside. They haven’t gotten me yet….

This guy caught my eye because he’s nice and shiny. Looks similar to the one up top, but he’s a little smaller with a green shine.

And in non-beetle news:

A nice looking spider. You can’t really tell from this angle, but this spider was actually feasting while I took her portrait. She’s smart. See that light? That’s why.

Last but not least, here was a little grasshopper (I think?). Do grasshoppers eat other bugs? Because with all his jumping it looked like he was hunting. He stood still long enough for me to snap a quick picture.

I’m patiently waiting for it to get cool and dry again, so the bugs will go into hibernation. When I first came to Japan, I was actually asking myself, “Are there any bugs in Japan? Because I haven’t seen one yet.” How foolish of me…

Painful Curry

Work has been killing me lately… but I promised myself I’d make a post. So I’ll be a little cheap and throw up so more engrish to keep you all entertained until the next time. I rate this as one of the best examples of engrish I’ve seen so far. Can it be topped? It was an advertisement for a curry restaurant, in Shizuoka City, that was not yet open:

Check out the lemon steak as well. Can you tell the difference between the lemon and the steak? …. Sure you can.

My friend Drew (who I was visiting in Shizuoka, I’ll post about that trip next) just recently posted a newer version of this incredible poster. I’m guessing the restaurant is finally open. The curry is “A Dish of a Prejudice.” It must be good! Next time I’m in Shizuoka, I’m definately eating here.

My Heart Are Thirsting

I’ve got a few posts lined up, and a bunch of pictures from recent things I’ve done. Hopefully I’ll get to them soon. But I’ve been a bit busy these days with work. I’m truly living the Japanese lifestyle I suppose… working weekends! In the meantime, here’s a little entertainment. I caught this gem, a vending machine slogan, at a friend’s friend’s hair salon:

Vending Machine Engrish

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Just Another Earthquake

This morning, at almost exactly 5 AM, I happened to wake up. I just remember that it was really hot and I needed to turn on my A/C (the Heater-A/C has a 3 HR timer unfortunately). Soon after turning on my A/C via the convienient remote control, my bed started shaking back and forth, lasting for maybe 10 seconds. It wasn’t very violent, and nothing in the room fell, but it was obviously an earthquake.

According to this BBC article, the quake’s epicenter was in the Oita prefecture, which borders Kumamoto to the northeast; that’s not too far from home. It was felt in Hiroshima, which is a bit across the water separating Kyushu from Honshu. In fact, I know the quake was felt as far away as Okayama (50 mins from Osaka by bullet train), because I received a text message from a friend living near there.

Earthquakes are just part of the territory when you live in Japan. This country happens to be in an area of high seismological activity. This would be my third quake experience in Japan so far. I think that’s more quakes I’ve felt in less than a year than I had previously felt in my entire life. That’s not to say California hasn’t had more than three quakes, because we all know it has, but I only remember feeling one before.

So when are the typhoons coming?