The Quest for the Holy Santa Claus

Numata, Japan. When I arrived at the house of sir planetross on Thursday night, the first thing I noticed in the living room stood on his bookshelf. The ultimate funky toy. A marvel of orange hair and manic looks: Road Rage Racer!!!

He makes all the sounds of the motor and acts totally pissed off and nuts off the charts. I had to have it. So Saturday morning, Ross drove me the Aeon Shopping Center so I could purchase one as well as a Backgammon board to give him a spanking (I ended up being the flogged one but that’s a matter I do not care to dwell upon as I am still feeling rather sore.)

I generally do not take photographs from cars, but traffic lights in Japan must be mentioned. They stay red forever! It’s heresy. Kelly had written a post about them on his venting page and frankly, I just thought he was taking romantic liberties with reality for literary effect but not at all.

Stagnating at red lights gave me the opportunity to practice ’emanating from the car through the windscreen” photography and to allow you a bird’s eye view into the scenery. After arriving at the mall, we shopped at several toy stores and we both purchased incredibly cool coin banks, then we headed towards the Hideaway Store where this skinny man sold me my Road Rage Racer:

Then it was time to go listen to Kelly play at Lockheart Castle in the area of Takayama village. Lockheart Castle was built in the south of Edimburgh in 1829 as Milton Lockhart, the mansion of John Lockhart, biographer of Sir Walter Scott.

In 1988, at a time where Japan could still buy the world, actor Masahiko Tsugawa (“Tampopo”) fulfilled his dream of having the Scottish castle dismantled brick by brick and shipped in 30 containers along the Trans-Siberian Railway to Japan. The reconstruction lasted three years and, according to the official website, involved 15,000 workers (just like the pyramids but more.) It was renamed Lockheart Castle and a slew of shops were added to the edifice. Kelly sings there often.

After we listened to a few songs, Kelly got assaulted by a gang of Japanese people who wanted to buy his CD, so Ross showed me around.

In the castle, he sat on the throne. I am not sure he was supposed to but he did anyway and I think he looks very regal sitting there. He then told me about the Santa Claus and Christmas Museum on the second floor of the castle. I kid you not. That’s where it becomes a wee bit on the tacky side for me. In a castle, you expect stuff like Holy Grails, not Santas. Now add Japan to the equation…

I don’t think I have ever felt so over-christmased. What a strange gig! Hundreds of Santa Claus figurines doing various things I’m sure Santa would never dream of doing (including an Elvis impersonation and that’s just plain wrong!)

Kelly having finally disengaged from the admiring masses deigned join us and I asked the boys to pose together.

Taking a cue from one of my previous posts, Ross and Kelly did act as if they were uncomfortable posing together. They did a pretty convincing job of it in that photograph and the other twenty that followed where I was able to witness a vast array of facial expressions that I would qualify as singularly unnatural (but they are very funny!)

Finally, I was very happy with this one.

And I was even happier with this one (thank you Kelly!)

Right now, I am toying with my awesome Road Rage Racer which stands right next to my laptop. It ranks high up there with my Pinocchio with retractable nose but in times of frustration, it definitely works much better.

4 responses to “The Quest for the Holy Santa Claus

  1. It must be a bit surreal to be a blog reader, then a blog commenter, then a blog impersonator, and then a blog inhabitant!
    What a marvelous thing this forum is.

    I noticed on the last 3 photos, you’ve omitted your usual trademarked blurry edges.

    Not a question, just an observation.

    Aren’t we all being so well behaved and restrained in our comments and questions…………..?

    How long can that last, do you think?

  2. bonnieluria: I’m blurry enough around the edges in the last 3 photos.

    Nathalie; great photos as always. When I read this I felt like I was almost there!
    I must go through the gears on my Road Rage Racer now.

  3. Bonnie: blogging has definitely had a great influence in my life lately. All my multiple personalities seem happily integrated but my blog inhabitant one is decisively the happiest!
    I know I omitted the blurry edges but I felt the black borders were better for these.
    I do admire your restraint. planetross does not like people saying nice things about him and I have nothing bad to report, so I am afraid I cannot answer questions. 😉

    planetross: you WERE almost there but at times you were more there than at others. Also, sometimes, you were all blurry.
    I’m pushing to 3rd gear!!!!

  4. I’m so jealous. It looks like you had a marvelous time. I’m very much enjoying this vicarious travel to distant lands!

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