Sunday fun

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | 0 comments

(Note: thanks to everyone who wrote and told me that 'kui' comes from 'ku', meaning 'to eat'. Obviously I'm awful at recognizing conjugated verbs!)

  Yesterday was Sports Day here in Japan. It's actually a national holiday (I think it's to commemorate the Tokyo Olympics, but whatever the case, I'm not about to complain about a paid holiday) Yuki had the day off, yea!

These are before/after pictures of the giant 'crackers' that kids break open by throwing rubber balls at them

We went to Yokohama for the weekend again and were lucky enough to attend the neighborhood sports festival on Sunday morning. I even convinced Yuki to participate in one of the races, seeing as it rated highest on the 'strangeness' factor and I of course wanted pictures of it.

This is a type of race where competitors must grab a piece of bread hanging at face height without using their hands. Apparently the bread used to be unpackaged: they'd just use needles to sew string through it and hang it up. Now it's the pre-packaged convenience store kind, attached to strings via clothespins. The official name of this race is: Pan-kui kyoso, with 'pan' meaning 'bread' and 'kyoso' meaning 'competition' or 'footrace'. I'm not sure what 'kui' means and my dictionary only lists 'regret' as a definition, so I'm pretty sure that's not it! (Help please, おとうさん).
 Here's Yuki on film, putting all the neighborhood housewives to shame by shamelessly leaving them in the dust! Yuki kicking butt

The rest of the Sports Day events were of the usual type: other races, relays, etc, so we left after the bread race and went to lunch with Yuki's grandparents. We ate at the Prince Hotel in Shinagawa this time; it seems to be pretty popular with foreigners. We saw more tourists there than I have in any one place since we were in Harajuku last!

 There's a beautiful garden on the hotel grounds, so we took a walk around after lunch and watched all the brides getting their wedding photos taken. It was a beautiful day for pictures---the first in a long time that Tokyo hasn't been overcast or slightly smoggy when we visited!

                                                     Some scenes from the garden

A Bride and Groom in traditional dress