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Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I'm back again, but this time with something a little more positive in comparison to what I posted last time. As many of you know, or if you don't know, I'm fond of the Japanese culture. I've grown up with Anime and Manga, my artstyle has direct influence in it, and I've taken a Japanese language class all four years in high school, which makes my conversational skills pretty good. This past Saturday was Aki Matsuri down at the Rio Hotel's parking lot.  

What's Aki Matsuri? In direct translation, Aki Matsuri translates to "Fall Festival", and that's what it basically is. My Japanese teacher always encouraged us to go to this festival, but I always never had the time to go. As a college freshman with a ton of time on my hands, my friends and I adventured our way down to eat wonderful festival food. Think of this post mostly as a visual diary. I won't be writing much, about what happened in the event, I'm gonna let the pictures speak for themselves. The Aki Matsuri post is gonna be split up in three posts, this one is gonna document the afternoon activities. 

We jokingly referred to ourselves as Team Dynamo, it kinda stuck. Aki Matsuri was actually a two day event, we decided to go the second day because some of us had class on Friday and were just busy.  Because it was a Fall Festival, Nikki went and channeled her inner goth alien princess. Keita's the new addition to our little family, Sara and I have known him since 6th grade.

I wanted a Hakama so bad. Especially the one that gentleman is wearing on the right.

Didn't get to try these fries, but they looked good. They were also selling Japanese style Corn Dogs, which to me kind of looked like regular corn dogs?

I didn't notice this until now but the lovely lady at Curry Zen smiled when I took a photo of her booth! Hello!

After watching these pros make Takoyaki, I've come to the conclusion that the process of flipping them over and turning them really is an under appreciated art form.

This was the center stage where performers would go on. It was adorable seeing little kids dance to traditional Japanese music, along with cosplayers doing karaoke.

Anime paraphernalia.

We all ordered takoyaki, and my goodness was it delicious!

Keita, who we lovingly refer to as Pokotama or Pokochansama or Ponchan.

Then, this happened.

The weather was a little warm so we went and scouted for Kaki Gori! Which is really shaved ice with lots of syrup.

Esther and I ordered Strawberry Sway while Sabrina and Sara got Pineapple. Nikki got Rainbow, and Keita got Blueberry.

Spotted a pink haired slayer and Firebender Katara! Nikki's being herself.

There were so many cute kids in kimonos and hakamas running around! This little girl was sitting right in front of us begging her mother to take her home. She's so adorable!

We're an odd bunch.

Team Primary Colored Tongues.

I feel like I wasn't supposed to have taken this man's photo but he just screams COOL and AWESOME that I had to. Him and his entourage kept looking back on where we sat because I just took his photo out of nowhere. I wish I got a photo of his wife/lady friend also because she had the most killer heels and freaking awesome gothic kimono ever!

In my head I imagined him to be a resident of Neo-Tokyo along with his wife/lady friend. Together they slay Japanese demons in their kimonos while looking freaky cool and intimidated. he's someone I wouldn't want to run into at an alley or anywhere else where it is dark LOL

We adventured for a little bit looking at random souvenirs and the like.
I loved seeing traditional Japanese toys and festival goods around!

This is the start of the "Sabrina Chang Chronicles: Why Am I Here and Why Am I Not a Duck"

Nikki and I's relationship summed up in one photo. AlienSiblingz fo Lyfe.

Sara bought these beautifully handmade deer antlers with black and magenta roses. Keita modeled them! Keita's now a deer man.

And i pretended to be a Taiko Drum Player.

Funny thing happened! We all learned of this event because of our beloved Japanese teacher so we expected to see her at the event! After two hours we didn't see her so we gave up hope. In the middle of a game we were playing, Sensei came from behind Nikki and Esther and said hi! We proceeded to take pictures.

Sensei and her newborn son Ryu, is the absolute cutest baby ever! His older brother Ren, who is about 8 now I believe, was sitting eating french fries.

Aside from Sara (who took our photo yay!), we had all been under Sensei's tutelage for the past three to four years. Sensei is such an amazing teacher who really does care for her students, I miss learning Japanese from her actually! 先生、お世話になりました!!

We caught up on what we're studying in college and if we still spoke and understood Japanese, that of which we responded back in Nihongo, hehe.

The weather was still extremely warm so we waited it out in the tent, we were lucky to have a spot where the sun wouldn't hit us so we stayed. Two girls from Sweets Raku came up to us offering $2 roll cake and it was so good! Once the weather began to cool, we left our tent, said our goodbyes to Sensei, and walked around once more looking for food to eat.

Sabrina and I saw Naruto and their red haired friend and knew we had to take a picture. The girl next to Sabrina looked so familiar, but we couldn't figure out who she was cosplaying. Should've asked!

Saw this kid by himself, I really liked his style.

Took a picture of the shrine holders, they were getting ready and so excited.

Sara and Keita tried these fried squid legs and they were super tasty!

Our entire friendship, summed up really.

While the sun was setting we wanted to watch the performers. Watched these taiko drummers!

After these Taiko Drummers, came these traditional Japanese dancers.

It was really cool seeing these traditional Japanese dances. I'm long ways away from Japan, so to see these authentic performances and eat such authentic food made Japan feel much closer to me.

This picture is super freaking adorable I can't get over it. The little boy on the left was wearing a Hakama and passing out the newspaper that held the event schedule on it. He came up to these two sisters and gave the one around his age one. They talked for a bit and laughed, afterwards he skipped away happily whilst the younger sister poked fun at her older sister. Young love, in the making!

Thanks for reading part one! The nightly events shall be up soon!