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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Last day of Sapporo Festival

Taiwanese style "kaki koori", shredded ice. The Taiwanese version is flavored ice, with topping
Japanese crepe
After visiting the shrine festival, I also went to Nakajima-Koen park to have some more festival food and to see some fun sights.

Bikkuri House
I always wondered what the "Bikkuri House" was. Bikkuri means being surprised in Japanese. I asked a Japanese friend and he said it was where people eat live snakes or do other grotesque carnival style things. It is always right next to the "obake yashiki" (ghost house), which I guess also makes you "bikkuri".
A guy riding a motorcycle in weird ways (the bicycle is on a treadmill)
 Anyway, I decided to go inside and see for myself. It turns out that my friend was wrong. The bikkuri house was actually a metal box inside another metal box. You go inside, sit down on a bench, and then the staff starts spinning these boxes back and forth in different directions. The inner box does not actually do a 360 degrees rotation, but you feel quite sick after all the walls are spinning around and your guts are bouncing up and down from the fairly large rotation of the inner box... It does not help that you just spent a few hours eating weird stuff in the festival either... I managed to not throw up, but would not recommend the ride, haha.

Licking a live snake

Biting into the live snake

Tearing the soon-no-longer-alive snake in two

The place where people eat live snakes turned out to be the house next to the bikkuri house (not the ghost house, though; on the other side). I went inside just as the "eating a live snake" part of the show was about to start. The place was packed and people stood packed like sardines. The carnival people inside immediately noticed that I was a foreigner and said that since this was a very special show probably not available in Europe, I should stand right in the center, in the front line. So they made everyone else make a path for me, so I could go and stand in the best location for the show!
Squeezing out the blood from the snake

Then a woman came on stage, sat down and put on an apron. Another woman walked around with a live snake and had the people in the front (including me) touch the snake to check that it was a real snake.

Chewing on a snake
The snake eating woman then licked the snake for awhile, and then bit into it. She tore it in two using her teeth. Then she squeezed out all the blood from the snake into her mouth. Finally she bit off a few centimeter of snake that she chewed and swallowed.

Singing and dancing
After that, she was going to put away the bloody snake leftovers but suddenly changed her mind and threw the snake carcass at the girls standing next to me, haha. Actually she had switched out the snake for a rubber snake, but the reaction was very funny, though somewhat painful. Suddenly there was a 1.5 by 1.5 meters large whole in the audience, where people had been crammed in before... People jumped out of the way of the flying snake onto other people, and stepped on each others' feet etc. Lots of screaming, haha.
A girl with huge boobs

A girl floating in the air
The show continued with some singing and dancing, and then a girl with huge boobs showed up. They did some magic where this girl floated in the air. Finally, a very short girl came out and lifted a "very heavy rock". The people on stage asked a kid if he knew what the thing on stage was and he said something like "looks like Styrofoam" but they apparently "could not hear what he was saying" so they asked a slightly older boy. He said that it was a "rock", and they said that indeed it is nice to see people mature enough to answer questions properly, haha.

A small girl lifting a "heavy rock"

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