Sunday, February 26, 2006

Kani Matsuri Time!

On Saturday, while I was on my self-guided tour of the area between the Koshinokata and Rokudoji stops (Imizu City?) on the Manyo Line, I ran into some workers setting up for what looked like a festival (the twenty or so food booths were a dead give away). After a little investigation on my part, I discovered that they were setting up for the Toyama Kani Matsuri, which in English translates into the Toyama Crab Festival. The festival was being held on Sunday.

I loved the Nabe Festival last month, so I figured that I'd go to the Crab Festival this month.

I took the same tram to get there, getting on at Takaoka Station. There was a crazy old Japanese guy on the tram wearing rubber boots, a coonskin cap, and double fisting a couple of beers. To say that he might have been drunk, would be like saying that I think the Pope might be Catholic (the guy in Italy, not the ALT in Takaoka). He insisted on sharing his chicken jerkey and kept telling me that I was a "Niiccee Guuuuuy!" I told him that I liked his hat and he replied, "Niiccee Guuuuuy!" Then he asked me if I was going to the crab festival. When I answered yes, he got really excited and exclaimed, "Niiccee Guuuuuy!"

I didn't know whether to laugh or to get jealous because this guy spoke more English than I speak Japanese.

It was pouring rain when I got off the tram at the third to last stop, Higashi-shimminato. Rain, however, apparently isn't a deterrent for Japenese trying to enjoy mad amounts of crab. I couldn't list the many different types of crab without sounding like Bubba Gump, but you could eat crab prepared in almost any form imaginable, buy crab to take home and cook, or purchase crab that you could cook yourself at the festival in a tent filled with small grills with burning coals (it was perfectly safe, I swear!)

There was also a stage where they were doing various festival-ly stuff. I randomly ran into one of the other teachers from my small English school. He was with his girlfriend, who was one of the dancers performing for the festival.

There were four dance troupes performing and hers was by far the best (her dance troupe was the one wearing the red, yellow, and green jackets). It wasn't a competion, but if it had been, they would have won hands down. I don't want to put down the other dance troupes, but they just didn't compare.

My favorite food at the festival was the kani wappa. Wappa refers to the wooden box in the picture below. I liked it not because it tasted better than all the other crab dishes, I liked it because the crab was already out of the shell and I didn't have to get my fingers all smelly to eat it.

The festival wasn't all about crab, though. There were booths selling all of your typical Japanese festival snacks, including barbequed squid:

People were literally taking bags and bags of crab home:

What was the best part about the festival, you might ask?


That last photo was taken in the last minutes of the festival. The dancers were walking around with cases of Kirin, begging people to drink. I humbly obliged.

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reds said...

Please invite those bbq squid to me, they are my favourite with schrimps inside, regards,

Saipan Chamoale said...

Shrimp stuffed squid? Might as well wrap it in bacon, too.

tetricus said...

If I remember right, the last time you ate shrimp wrapped in bacon... you threw it up the night of Jan 19th, 2004 in front of the Sutton Apts at Rollins College...

Free Beer and hot asian chix!

Saipan Chamoale said...

Your use of the word 'last' has a double meaning.