The Mercers One Year Wedding Anniversary at the Otodama Rock Festival


Has it been one year already? WOW! Time flies when you are having fun. This first year of marriage has been a wonderful time, moving to Japan, expecting our first baby and missing all of our family and friends back in Canada, but enjoying making some new friends in Japan too.

To celebrate our one year anniversary we decided to accompany Chie and Chizuko (Mom) to a Rock Festival at the Izumi Otsu Phoenix (between Kishiwada and Osaka) called Otodama. Otodama means “hotspring of music for your soul” (rough translation). There were 14 bands playing from 10:00am to 21:00 (9:00pm for you non 24 hour clock people).

Otodama LogoWe got there at about 15:00 just in time to watch one of our favorite artists Yuki. Yuki is like 150cm (4’9″ for you non metric types) so she is quite short but boy can she sing. She is absolutely awesome. She was nice enough to bring her big soap box to stand on so everyone could see her.

The concerts alternated between left and right stages, all the good groups were playing the right stage so that is where we hung out. The next band we saw was Tamio Okuda, although he introduced himself as OT. Tamio is a straight ahead rock n roll group, but unfortunately the bass was turned up so loud it washed out the music completely. Don’t get me wrong…me being a bass player I like it loud…but when I can’t tell the difference between notes…I’m sorry fellas but it is just too darn loud.

YukiThere were a couple more bands before the main event Bo Gumbo Union, but we busied ourselves with getting some dinner and having a cold drink. I was commenting to Kana about how it is not always cool being 1 of maybe 5 white people in a crowd of 15,000 Japanese people. People just stare at you constantly. So much for being anonymous in a large group.

The final group to play was Bo Gumbo Union which is made up of members from the Bo Gumbos, Soul Flower Union and Yokoloco. The music was really a fusion of all the bands different sounds. They played southern gospel tunes, straight ahead rock and some traditional Japanese tunes. The last two songs featured an ensemble with Yuki and Tamio returning to the stage. We were not supposed to take pictures but I couldn’t help but sneak a couple shots and a few seconds
of video so all of you could have a little taste of what it was like.

TamioWe all had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed Otodama, especially the grand finale with Fireworks and all.

I think it was an awesome way to celebrate our first year of marriage, and here is looking forward to many more wonderful years with Kana, my best friend and my soulmate.


Bo-Gumbo Union



Bo-Gumbo Union