Festivals and Yokai - My Junior High School Blog
March was a good month for me to see new Japanese festivals.
First, I saw the dolls Japanese families show on girls' day.
Then later I went to Omihachiman for the fire festival.
This was my first time looking around Omihachiman and it is quite a beautiful place.
We'll be coming back here again to ride the canal later in the spring, and it should look beautiful with the Cherry Blossom!
The Sagicho Matsuri has 13 or 14 colorful Sagicho floats carried around the streets.
The floats, made of food, straw and wood, are paraded along the streets near the shrine.
This year the theme of the floats was 'Tigers' because it is the Chinese year of the tiger; I was born in 1974 which was also the year of the tiger!
In the afternoon the teams carrying the floats begin to 'fight' with the.
The floats get damaged, but everybody has a lot of fun.
There is also a kids parade with smaller floats.
We also looked at the local shrine and the festival stalls (shops).
Then the bigger floats were put into position for burning.
This is a fire festival and the burning of the floats is the most popular part!
By now there was a real party atmosphere, a big crowd had built up and was waiting for the fires to start.
The fire burned very bright and strong at the beginning because of all the paper on the floats.
After the paper,the decorations and wood began to burn too - many people were dancing around the fires.
I went close to take some photographs, and it was very hot!
Once the fire had burned down the cinders were cleared away by special firemen.
I really enjoyed the festival, it was really fun.
This month I also did a road trip to Sakaiminato.
This town is famous for GeGeGe no Kitaro.
We took the highway there and got there in just few hours and saw yokai everywhere!!
Including many versions of Kitaro himself.
He's even on the toilet signs.
The most common yokai art on display are the small bronze statues that line the main street.
There are 134 of these, and it was a lot of fun trying to find them all.
After leaving Sakaiminato we drove the car by the sea.
The weather was cold and rainy, but we visited few beaches.
I even took off my shoes and socks to try the water - Cold, very cold!!
Lastly we visited a big aquarium on the coast.
For me though, this was the star attraction.
It's a walrus - and I was surprised how big and heavy it was!
For me it was amazing to see this animal so close!
Wonderful creature - and a nice end to the trip.
I hope the weather will get better soon I can travel more!