What fun and culture I was set to experience this week! The tours office offered a tour Wednesday to the Ohara Hadaka Festival. Usually I teach an English class on Wednesdays, but this year several Japanese holidays aligned and people got a long weekend, jokingly called Silver Week as a reference to Golden Week in early summer when everyone goes on vacation. And possibly also a reference to Respect for the Aged Day, which was Monday. Ha ha. Anywho, so my English class was already canceled on the very day I wanted to go on the tour! Woo hoo! Then I found out ‘hadaka’ means naked. What kind of festival IS this?? (fyi, the description reads: This festival, which celebrates good harvests and fishing, dates back to the Edo era. An event called shiofumi is particularly fascinating. Fishermen clad in only loincloths carry eighteen portable shines (mikoshi) and run against each other while in the rough sea. The festival reaches a climax as onlookers cheer them on. Due to the content of the tour, it is limited to those 14 and older.—yay! no screaming, poorly behaved kids!) So Monday I go into the tour office to buy a ticket to the States and the girl says, “Oh by the way…your tour was canceled because not enough people signed up…sorry…” Clearly people didn’t know it was a naked festival. So that was a bummer, but when today roled around Chris thoughtfully took me to lunch and afterwards I thought, “Oooo, now I have time to go try to get those sumo wrestling tickets Chris and I wanted!” WRONG again! Sold out. Sumo tours around the country so it’s only in Tokyo twice a year—September and January. This is the first time I’ve tried to get tickets, and now I know: buy them two months ahead of time when they go on sale! This double spat of bad luck reminded me of my and Hannie’s bad luck in Spain when everything we wanted to see was closed for no reason, usually ONLY on the day we were there. There was the Imperial Palace. Closed. The Alhambra’s famous Fountain of Lions. Closed. We made a joke out of it and started taking pictures every time we saw a “Cerrado” sign. Then, exactly one year after Spain’s Imperial Palace was closed, Chris and I happened to be in Kyoto May 15, 2009 and also planned to see a national Imperial Palace. Closed. We were disappointed-ish, but had to admit that was kind of funny. So. Closed stuff. Canceled tours. Sold out tickets. Uncultured. Thumbs Down.