The day started nice and early with me rushing around, trying to pack my bags and catching a shink to Echigo Yuzawa station. (One must remember that not all trains stop at Echigo-Yuzawa, in which I learnt the hard way) At the station, hundreds of people were already in line waiting for the shuttle bus up to Naeba which is an area known for it’s ski resort. Even though I got there by 9am on Friday morining, from afar the side of the ski slope was already covered in thousands of tents.
Plenty of great acts to see here. And also, plenty of great international cuisine to try out as well. It’s a nice change from the cuisine you find at a small Japanese city. Plenty of asian, european, and other ethnic foods. There were also a great number of Niigata JETs here as well, and we created our own little tent city. And I must thank Sam for keeping a spot for me and the two Phils.
Well, here’s a wee list of the few acts I was able to catch:
Asian Kung-Fu Generation
Broken Social Scene
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Refugee All Stars of Sierra Leone
Shuya Okino (Kyoto Jazz Massive)
The String Cheese Incident
and much much more… I can’t remember the names of all of the acts. Let’s just say that it was a busy and long 3 days weekend. We got rain, sunshine, fog, cloud cover, cold days and even hot days. We pretty much had it all.
I really didn’t know what to expect, but amazingly the act which I enjoyed the most was Scissor Sisters. It was totally unexpected, and I wasn’t even planning to catch the act, but I was going by the venue, they were on, and I must say that they were probably the most energetic act I saw during the 3 days. I was especially impressed with Ana Matronic the female vocalist, with her witty comments and her amount of knowledge of Japanese phrases.
All in all, a great weekend. We had all kinds of weather out there as well. Sunshine, hot, cold, rainy, wet… makes for an interesting weekend.
At times, the paths bewteen the various stages got pretty crowded. And since it’s japan, you don’t have to worry about people pushing and shoving you.