Checking out a University Festival

Yesterday I went to Meiji University to meet some new people and check out the university festival, which is held annually. Unfortunately the weather was rather shite but that didn’t deter me nor my new university comrades. Well, just what was the main centre of attention at the festival?…. Food… food…. and more food! As I quickly discovered a lot of university students in Japan are members of a particular club or group which each specialise in cooking a particular dish – scattered around the university campus were various stalls selling the ‘fruit’ of each group’s labor. I tried out some of the food and, am glad to say, that most of it was damn nice! Alongside some familiar food, some more specialised or traditional Japanese food was on offer, which included Takoyaki (fried balls of Octopus) and Yaki Soba (stir fried noodles with vegetables and meat). One stall which immediately caught my attention was one that brought back familiar memories of home… and also the dude who kept shouting specifically towards me helped attract attention towards the stall too (yeah yeah, target the gaijin why don’t ya?!) Basically the stall was selling fajitas made using the Old El Paso mixture packs, I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised that they’re available here!

Luckily food wasn’t the only thing on offer at the festival. Various stages were set up throughout the university with quite a diverse mixture of bands performing. On the main stage was a very typical Jpop style band fronted by a very typical spunky female guitarist. They were alright, but definitely nothing special! On another stage we weren’t treated, but rather, subjected to absolute noise from quite possibly one of the most shite bands I have ever seen. No… really…. they were that bad. To make matters worse, they actually did the unthinkable by attempting to cover Funeral For a Friend’s awesome Juneau and fucking it up royally – it was a complete utter disaster in every sense of the word- the drummer’s timing was all wrong, the guitarist was playing the wrong notes and to top it off the vocalist had nothing on Matt. Luckily following on from that, we decided to check out another stage and encountered a slightly better heavy rock group fronted by 2 rappers. They weren’t bad but not really my cup of tea. During the day we discovered a room which was showing a movie made by some of the students at the university. Unfortunately we caught the film near the end, but it was interesting nevertheless. Shortly after the movie we discovered another room which was showing various commercials made by the students – upon filling in a survey about the advertisements we could enter a prize draw. I entered my form even though I hadn’t filled it in properly (well…. hardly at all!) Strangely enough, I ended up winning 2 tickets to a famous Japanese theme park…. for doing pretty much nothing at all! The day ended with watching a band consisting of 2 guys each playing an acoustic guitar and singing – their singing was pretty awesome, and they did a good job with the music, despite the fact that one of the dude’s guitar strings snapped during one of their songs. Overall it was a fun day out, I got to meet some awesome new people, experience some cool food and watch some….. rather different bands. I definitely look forward to taking part in my university festival when I return to Japan to study!

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