The weather is still hot and humid here. The air conditioning works, and the Olympics are on TV. It is really easy to get lazy – especially after a long week. This morning I woke up just in time for my normal alarm time – except it is Sunday and my alarm isn’t set. Sigh. Luckily it isn’t so hard to go back to sleep!
After lunch I decided to re-introduce myself to my mamachari. My bike needed me, and I needed it. I wanted to find an art and framing shop that someone had told me about. I was told it was one block from the international center. No directions associated with that block – just one block. I figured I’d have better coverage on bike. I got to the international center and turned north. Nothing was apparent. However, I did stumble across a really old neighborhood. I wished I had my camera with me to take some pictures. I’ll have to go back later. After scoping the area out for a while I was unable to find it on that side of the street. I crossed over and continued down a shopping gallery. It wasn’t in the shopping gallery so I started to head back to the international center again. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw “Art and Frame” on the side of the building and rode a little closer. Bingo! It was the shop I was trying to find. And it was closed on a Sunday. The hours are from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Which means I have a small window on Saturdays to actually check it out. I guess I know what I am doing next Saturday.
It is festival season here in Japan. I guess the perfect time to be outside is when there are lots of insects, it is hot, and really humid. Communities have festivals, cities have festivals, and neighborhoods have festivals. Today was the last day of the Nagoya Castle Festival (I guess castles have festivals too) and I thought it was the Hirokojidori festival too (that is a street, so streets and castles can have festivals). I walked down to the Hirokojidori festival today after my art run. It seemed very normal for a festival and I was afraid it was going to be as unspectacular as the Osu Kannon festival (remember the samba). However, I saw the signs describing it as August 23 and 24. Oh … well … I guess my book was a week ahead of itself. I walked to Citibank and got money instead. You can never have too much cash in Japan.
I came back home but fortunately gathered up my energy, hopped on the mamachari, and headed to Nagoya Castle. Ah, indeed there was a real festival. It is much like a county fair, with games for kids, greasy food, a stage, and some other items. Lots of people out in Yukata and lots of kids around. I enjoyed it – and the surroundings of the castle made it a little more authentic?
The festival had traditional odori dancing around a big stage. The average age of the dancers was about 73. A dying tradition? Let’s hope not.
Unfortunately, what might be a developing tradition is the big bouncy thing, in this case a koara, better known as a koala.
Many associations were out showing their presence in the country, including the Japan Rubber Band Gun Shooting Association
The crowd was still small before sunset.
Taiko drumming is still popular, as demonstrated by the prepubescent taiko drummers performing on the stage. After I took the picture I saw the no photo sign on the edge of the stage. Oops.
We had the shogun recreationists – kind of like the folks at the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon in Indiana dressing as Indians and French traders.
Like a moth, I was drawn to the lights. “Take my picture,” they screamed at me. So I did. I took lots of pictures.
A fun night.