こんにちは！ Just a small photo post today. Last Saturday we went to the annual Tatebayashi matsuri (festival) with our friends Sam and Kevin, who were visiting from Australia. We also ran into Katie and Kyle, a new ALT, along the way!
It was a whopping 35C (95F) that afternoon, and so, so humid – I felt like I was walking through damp cotton. There were several ambulances waiting on site to take people to the hospital if they suffered from heatstroke – in the hour we were there, they had to roll through to take someone away on two separate occasions!
Nevertheless, the energetic dancing went on as planned, and I managed to get a few photos from the tail end of it.
Look at the shoes these people had to wear!
Alas, I missed the mikoshi again this year! Mikoshi are portable Shinto shrines that a group of men and women from each neighbourhood and various associations hoist onto their shoulders and march down the road. It’s a wonderful pageantry; sometimes someone will stand on top at the front! I did managed to catch a glimpse of one being prepared down a side street:
Oh! Also, there are…ahem, pieces…of clothing called fundoshi, which are worn by men exclusively for festivals, and you will sometimes see the men carrying the mikoshi wearing these. I thought it might be a bit inappropriate if I took pictures, so I’ll let you all look up fundoshi yourselves.
Otherwise? It was a rather short excursion for us. All of us were able to get a taste of our favourite festival foods, like karaage —
Ice-cold pickled cucumbers on a (chop)stick —
And of course, takoyaki!
See you next time! またね！