This weekend I went to Kurashiki’s summer festival, a great excuse for people to drink beer, eat street food, and wear kimonos. It was a great day that I only found out about thanks to fellow jets Meghan and Bethany. Without overstressing the point, it yet again demonstrated how amazingly community-oriented Japan is- grandmothers dancing next to 5-year olds, everyone enjoying themselves, getting drunk and having fun without trashing stuff.

After a few hours of watching parades and listening to the same music again and again and again and again… I “encouraged” my companions to go to a sports bar to watch the Asian Cup Quarter Final between Japan and Australia (two of the group, Bethany and her visiting sister, are Ozzies). What a thrilling game!! Austraila scored first, but Japan hit back within two minutes, before extra-time was played out and it went down to penalties. The hero of the day was none other than that living legend Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi! Me and the other Japanese guys in the bar were chanting his name as he saved not one but two Ozzie penalties, and Japan recorded a deserved victory 4-3 on pens. Back of the Net!