So like I said, yesterday was a bit flat, but my arm seems to be healing slowly without the aid of drastic medical intervention, so that's nice. Also today I got confirmation of an event I heard about ages ago, and this confirmation adds further evidence to the claim that I may be living in the most awesome place in the world. Go ahead, ask me what I'm doing on 21st / 22nd February next year.
I'm going to Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen.
Oh wait, let me translate - I'm going to Showa-Shinzan International Snowball Fight.
Hot fucking damn, and I mean that with all the emphasis I can muster. Not only does this exist, but they also have a pretty great website in English too that you have to check out. It was started back in 1988 as a way to drive tourists to Soubetsu town and Showa-Shinzan mountain - a popular hiking destination in the summer, but an inhospitable arctic peak in winter. And when it comes to schemes to revive your depressed and ailing rural town this has to be one of the very best.
It looks to have worked a charm, the website claims crowds of around 25000 for the two day event last year, and almost 200 teams from around the world competing. They seem to have taken your basic "chuck balls of snow at each other" concept and worked it into a frantic 9 minute combination of "Capture the Flag" and dodgeball that I can't wait to see. Actually, there's a PR video here, but sadly the resolution is so bad it's virtually unwatchable. They designed a special snowball fight helmet (yours for around 60 quid) and a machine for making regulation sized snowballs (a slightly dearer 400 quid). There's even an official Yukigassen magazine and ASICs sneakers that I assume are perfect for running around in the snow in. I thought the concept was brilliant to start with, but when I checked out the depth of information on the website... man it looks somewhere BEYOND AWESOME.
And check these out:
Oh dear god, yes.