The bullring at Agena
Saturday - March 11, 2017

I had no intention of letting the rain dampen my mood or the day! So, I set out to find
something nearby to do. I didn't want to get too far out of Uruma - if at all - because I
didn't want to have to drive a long distance if the weather got even worse. It didn't take
long to decide upon what to do. I was going to find the Agena bullring even if it took all day!

I got on Google Street View and located the bullring, made a few notes for the directions
along with a rough stick map and got ready to go. I had made note of one landmark - a
large yellow building on the right where I was to make a right turn. We'll see how well
that works out. Shortly after leaving the house though I stopped at a Family Mart to buy
myself a bento to enjoy in the center of the bullring!

Well, it looks like I'm off to a good start! There's the big yellow building...

Turned right and drove down a ways until I came to the parking lot on the left.

I suspected that I might have parked in an auxilliary parking lot because there was
no clear path forward leading to the bullring. I climbed up a small embankment and
found my way onto what looked like a central plaza. No worries! I felt I was close!

Two huge granite sculptures looked to me like two bulls' locked horns. I was close!

YATTA! I found the tunnel leading into the ring. I was there! Armed with
lunch, Dr Bung, and Kelly in my backpack, I proceeded into the breech.

And, there it was! I had seen photos of this sight so many times but had
never laid eyes on it before. At first sight I knew that I would be finding an
alternative location to enjoy my peaceful feast - the center was a mud-hole!

I thought to myself that it must certainly have been a long time since anyone
gathered here in this arena to observe a bullfight. It looked totally abandoned.

I was a little bit intrigued by the complexity of the work that went into the seating
in this arena. These were not just simple concrete pourings to create the tiers
but the craftsmen had carefully applied ceramic tiles to both sides of the concrete.

Walking around the interior of the bowl made it abundantly clear that the overgrowth
was the result of a few years of neglect. Over on the back side of the arena bowl
were some stairs that lead to... ? ...Who knows? I didn't, but was gonna find out!

Adjacent to some tombs that lay off to the right there was what I'm guessing was
once a very stylish plaza and park area. I had imaginary visions of men and women
in their kimonos and geta clogging up and down, back and forth across the
concrete promenade. A tall clock tower, testifying that time had indeed stood still here,
was doubtless looked upon by thousands of natives while counting down the minutes
until the beginning of the first bloodless beast against beast contest of will and might.

I was going to go down there to enjoy my bento but, frankly, there were too many spiders!

So, back to the arena and the "preferred seating" that protected me from the drizzle of rain.

I didn't realize it at the time that I was near the approach to the ruins of the old Agena Castle.
But I did return a few days later and climbed up to see it.

Though there are no longer any bullfights in this arena the pastime of bull fighting is alive and well in Uruma.

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