Monday, June 16, 2008

Lost in Onoda Sun Park 小野田サンパーク

Not much exciting happens in Ube (part of the reason I like it here). Even less happens in the next town over, Ono..excuse me, Sanyo-Onoda (山陽小野田). Fun fact: before Onoda merged with Sanyo Ube really wanted to merge with - or, since Ube is bigger than Onoda, eat up - Onoda but the Onoda residents refused.

Anyway, one of the big things to happen in the last month in either city is the re-opening of Onoda Sun Park. Last week Sunday I went to check it out.

I went there by train and promptly got off to a rip roaring start by getting off at the wrong station. Not a problem though. Minami Onoda 南小野田 is only a bit farther to walk than Minami Nakagawa 南中川 and it gave me the opportunity to get some photos of the fun times had by the people driving there:

Someone later told me that they waited an hour to get a parking space. Fun!

I wish I had some pictures of the old Sun Park. Needless to say, the new Sun Park is all shiny and new:

Since it was Sunday, the place was packed (relatively speaking. This is Yamaguchi after all.) Also, it's hard to see from the pictures, but the place is really big (again, Yamaguchi big) and it took ages to walk around to see all the different stores:

One of the big draws at the new Sun Park is that it has the second Starbucks to open in Yamaguchi prefecture (the other being in Shimonoseki):

A couple of other things caught my eye:

I'm not really a pet person but I feel bad for any doggie that gets dressed up as Stitch. I bet the other dogs just pick on them all day long. If you're interested, you can find more things here.

SPAM! I used to have to go to Hiroshima to get SPAM. I actually bought all the cans of SPAM a local supermarket was carrying a couple of years ago.

I also got a kick out of this sign:

SPAM is many things but I wouldn't really call it meat (the sign says スパムミート or SPAM Meat). I tried to explain to some locals what SPAM tasted like one time but when pressed I just couldn't. I bought them cans instead. I didn't even know they sold half-size cans.

I didn't really take many pictures because I was just kind of looking around and didn't want to go Full Metal Gaijin and take all sorts of photos so maybe next time I go there I will (hopefully when it's less crowded). I mean, it is just a shopping mall. It has a mixture of chain stores (ABC Mart, Comme Ca Ism) and local stores. Still, it's something different so it will probably maintain it's charm for a bit longer. Especially, if there are cans of SPAM available.

Finally, at Minami Nakagawa - the steps to nowhere!


pamwax said...

Very interesting and nice to see they have the golden arches. Spam and McDonalds...what else could you want.

Arsenette said...

Full Metal Gaijin.. ahahhahahahahhahahahahah sorry that was great :)

Thanks for the great pics :) And yes.. I've gotten off the wrong station.. only thing though.. I'd wait on the platform for the next train.. I'm too lazy to figure out how to maneuver around in an area I don't know.. IF I know it then that's different.. Great pics though..

And yes.. Spam is not meat.. well.. I grew up with it.. and I kinda endured it.. at the same time if you are imersed in a different culture you'd probably want a little taste of home. Happened to me in Puerto Rico.. No one else goes nuts for toasted bagels with creamed cheese like a displaced American on a trip to the Capital. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT BAGELS AND CREAMED CHEESE IS?? WHAT'S THIS.. MARS? Yep.. they don't even know what a bagel is.. I'm such a dweeb..

tricia said...

Grew up on Spam and hate to say that most of the people I know turn their noses up at it. It's one of those things to keep in the pantry in case of emergency.

Is coffee drinking a big thing in Japan?

Allison said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say I LOVE it! I lived in Ube from 99-00, and your posts and pictures really bring back memories for me. I can't believe there's a Starbucks in Onoda now! That's amazing.

Big Jim said...

Starbucks in Onoda?
man, and I had to leave...First Don Quixote, then Starbucks. Yamaguchi is getting all metropolitan

Although, to be fair, you could always get Spam at A Price.

goober said...

WOW onoda sunpark has moved on up!
it's blazing!

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Thanks so much for the pictures, Ube, and the blog. Love it.