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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Baked Potato!

OK, so you're not gonna find any ice cream trucks cruising around the streets of Takayama, either Spring or Summer. You will, however, hear the dulcet (although automated) tones of the laundry pole seller and, if you're lucky enough, the goldfish or tofu vendors. One sound you can be virtually guaranteed though to hear every Fall and Winter is the call of the
yaki-imo man. Instead of fudgecicles, the big thing here is baked sweet potato.

The yaki-imo man doesn't have a very complicated come-on... he basically cruises down the street and blasts out the word yaki-imo, over and over. It's like if someone walked down your street everyday belting out "baaaaaked potatoooooo". Except it sounds (at least to my unaculturated ear) like some weird prayer to the god of tubers. It's all high lonesome warbly and weird.

And the truck is pretty bitchin' cool as well. I would have posted my own picture of one, if my fat ass would have let me catch the truck in time. Instead, I wound up running after the thing down the street holding my cell phone up (like I was bringing him some vital message from baked potato HQ), to catch the sound, which you can hear below. So instead, I had to swipe the photo from here.

To hear the yaki imo man, click hear.