Category Archives: Festival

Kiryu Madness

So when I went to the Kiryu festival, it was crowded. And when I mean crowded, take a gander.

This is only one group / crowd in one area dancing the local dance. It’s great fun, and if you’re in Gunma, come on by next time. Turkish ice cream and good curry await you!

And then the kids (later, the adults) dance to mixed tapes. The mix is interesting to listen to, since half is what I would call ‘modern’ and the other half is ‘traditional Japanese music”.

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Posted by on 09/08/2011 in Festival


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Umbrella Man and Mate Bazaar

I never thought it could happen, but at the Kiryu festival today, it did. I found a member of the human race who sadly, should not be trusted with an umbrella. An umbrella? Yes.

First, this guy wedged in between a friend and another Japanese woman (and when I mean wedged, the Japanese woman gave him an unfriendly glare as well since he pretty much shoulder checked her out of his way). Then, he opened his umbrella. Normally, this is not a problem. Then he kinda ‘mushroomed’ it. You know, bringing it down so that it looks like a mushroom instead of an umbrella? In doing this, he hit the two guys standing immediately behind him (and completely blocked the view of the dancing stage). After that (and no apology), he began to spin his umbrella. Seriously? In a crowded area? It got to the point where I put a hand up to keep him from whacking the two guys and to keep him from spraying me with water when he twirled it. Urgh. 😦

On the other hand, during the wonderful festival (away from umbrella man), I saw a banner that said ‘Mate Bazaar”. Is this the place to find a mate? 😉

(During this festival, we found Umbrella Man and Toilet Granny. 😉 When waiting for the bathroom, this old woman sees me and proceeds to tell everybody waiting in line that I was extremely amusing / funny when I was drinking my beer and bopping my head in time to the traditional music).

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Posted by on 07/08/2011 in Festival


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Festival Time

Summers in Japan are matsuri (festival) heaven! For example, just near my little area of Gunma, we have the Takasaki Festival, the Kiryu Festival and the Isesaki Festival all during the same weekend.

Today, I went to the Isesaki Festival and saw…these. I’m still not settled about which side my final thought is on, but my mental conversation went like this…

‘ewwww, snake spine necklaces. That can’t possibly be really made out of bone, right?’

‘Well, the snake spine bracelets look pretty cool, and they’re made of glass.’

‘Which means what? I’m still wearing a snake spine on around my neck / wrist. Ugh,. no thanks!’

But that blue one looks really neat!’

It’s a snake spine. No.’

‘Huh, it flexes like a real snake spine.’

And then I walked away looking for some dinner. (the bottom blue / white one is the one I liked, fyi).

Later on, I saw this grandmother participating in the local dance with light purple / pink hair. You’d be surprised by how many of them have pink / purple / blue hair once they reach a certain age. Maybe that certain age is ‘I don’t care anymore, I just want to have fun.’

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Posted by on 06/08/2011 in Festival


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Old Time Games

While Isaac and I did see handmade wooden tops at the Gunma Forest Craft Fair, I wasn’t expecting to see them during the summer festival in Ota. On the other hand, I guess older toys are making a comeback (though I did see the usual bunches of light up swords and glowing Minnie Mouse hairband ribbons)

But there was a stall where children could go to just spin tops. It was pretty cool watching the little kids wind up those long strings.

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Posted by on 02/08/2011 in Festival, Fun Things!


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Squid on a Stick

During the summer festivals, where you’re walking down the street, some of the best foods come on a stick. Candy apples, sugared fruits, fresh cucumber, fresh pineapple, cotton candy, octopus (as you’ve already seen) and its friend, squid.

Enjoy, roasted squid on a stick. But watch where you step, ’cause they go squish if you step on it! 😉

(first time I went to Kiryu festival, someone in our group slipped on a squid.)

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Posted by on 31/07/2011 in Festival, Foods


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Festival games during summer in Japan usually include fishing. What happens is that you pay the owner @300 yen, and you are given a scoop made with rice paper to catch goldfish in. Maneuver them into the bucket, and then he’ll put in them in a plastic sack for you to take home when your scoop breaks.

This little guy had already caught two fish and was another one this time around. (Sooooo much better than me, I usually just break the scoop).

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Posted by on 30/07/2011 in Festival


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On a Stick and On a Dog

My husband, two friends and I all went to the Ota festival where there was a wonderfully nice guy eating octopus on a stick who didn’t mind if I snapped his photo (one thing I worry about when taking people photos is being annoying; I also make sure I have permission to take the photo). On a stick is a wonderful way to eat things, and there are restaurants in Japan where that’s the only thing on the menu. I also love his beer 🙂

We also saw an interesting dog at the festival too…

The dog decided not to have his / her face in the picture unfortunately, but the red yukata looks really cute! I knew that they made clothing for dogs, but I’ve never seen a festival outfit for canines.

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Posted by on 22/07/2011 in Festival, Foods, Places


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