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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.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sapporo Festival (Hokkaido Shrine Festival) 2014

Lots of people at the festival

Every year on June 14 to 16, there is the Hokkaido Shrine Festival (also called the Sapporo Festival). There are several activities going on, there is for instance usually a trained monkey show at the Hokkaido Shrine which is very funny.

Lots of people, and rain

Near my home, there is a huge festival area in the Nakajima Koen park. For Japanese festivals, it is common to wear yukata, so I put on one of my yukatas and went there to check out the entertainment and have some interesting festival food. Since it is close to my home, I went there every day during the three days of the festival, even though it was mostly raining.

No one wanted to wade through this short cut. Except me, because my geta (clogs) are super high so this was not problem for me.

I ran into some people I know (like my magician colleague's older sister and nephew), some people I do not know but have met (like the cute couple that had me as entertainer at their wedding at Sheraton Hotel one week before), and lots of people who just commented "Oh, a foreigner".

Some people braved the rain and rented row boats

I had too much food, but the food is good and some of it is difficult to find outside festivals. I also saw some interesting entertainment, including motorcycle tricks, a woman eating live insects, and a man stopping an electrical fan with his tongue.

 Food

Spicy miso paste on a cucumber on a stick

Gyoza dumplings with chicken skin instead of dumpling dough
Korean (?) dumpling
Croissant tai-yaki 

Weird clothes

This guy was just wandering around inside the festival area
This guy had a jacket that says: "Fuckers NYC"

 Freak show

This guy had a big needle through his cheeks with which he dragged have objects around
This girl ate live insects
This girl poured melted candle wax into her mouth and breathed fire
This guy threaded a chain in through his nose and out through his mouth and the lifted things
This guy ate dry ice and breathed smoke
This guy stopped an electric fan with his tongue
This guy took off his underwear and did things on a bed of nails

Motorcycle stunts

This guy rode a motorcycle on the walls of a small cylindrical arena, that shook alarmingly every time he passed close to your head.
He did stunts like standing up and not holding on to anything and grabbing money from the hands of spectators.

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