Fall Festivals

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | 0 comments

I went to two festivals within a 20-hour period, although my attendance at the second festival was rather inadvertent. The planned festival experience was on Sunday night---our neighborhood has an annual festival at the nearby shrine that we try to go to if we're in town. I really have no idea as to the theme or reason behind the festival, had actually never thought about it until a friend asked me. I still don't know, but figure that there doesn't always need to be a reason for a celebration, does there? Anyway, we walked down there after dinner, in time to meet up with some expat friends and see the fireworks display. One of the women knows a local farmer with some land in the area who lets us all camp out there during the festivities--apparently he sells honey, which is how she met him. So he's become known (to me, at least) as 'The drunk honey man'. He's always in a great mood, very cheerful and friendly, although I'm not sure how much of this is due to the alcohol factor. He's also quite generous: last year he plied us with beer and snacks, and this year was no exception. No sooner had we sat down than he popped over with a few cans of beer that he insisted we accept. A few minutes later, he returned with some very fresh stalks of ginger and a bowl of miso to spread on top. He was pretty excited to have yet another foreigner try it (ginger is quite hot, if you didn't already know) and seemed disappointed that I didn't have a problem with the intensity of it. I guess most people immediately make a grab for their beer after taking a bite. Apparently nobody had told him about my love of wasabi! Later, he came over one more time with some milder snacks, and he kept checking that everyone had enough food, etc. A wonderful host, especially considering that most of us really don't know him! Finally, when we were leaving, Honey man pressed a banana-creme cookie into Yuki's hand as we said good-bye. I guess that the wrapper had been opened, but Yuki just assumed that there'd been 2 cookies and only one was left. As we were walking back, however, Yuki discovered that not only had the package been opened, the remaining cookie had a perfect bite-mark out of it! ABC banana-creme cookie. Thanks, but we both decided to pass! ************************************************************************************* The day-time photos are from yesterday's street festival downtown. I think it was to celebrate the autumnal equinox, but again I'm not really sure. Whatever the reason, it was a pleasant surprise (neither I nor the friend I was with had any idea it was going on) and made my afternoon shopping a lot more memorable. The main focus of this festival seemed to be the various groups of street dancers, although there were of course some food stalls and a couple of music stages, too. The costumes aren't really representative of a traditional festival (Can't say I've ever seen a French maid out and about before), but it was a fun time. East meets West

We didn't have the best parade-viewing spot for filming, but this guy was pretty cool...