Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Last weekend was awesome... We had a taste of summer- warm, humid weather, and I ran out and bought fresh flowers and a new plant for my bedroom. It's amazing how "homey" a place looks with some greenery...
So, Jason came up to the inaka from the big city (Kyoto)... the train station was a mess of students from both of my schools, and I'm sure it was the talk of the town that their AET was meeting this ginormous gaijin at the station... "boyfriend?!?" was about the most English they could muster.... and then collapse into fits of giggles. Aaaahhh, high school students.
Anyway, we enjoyed the jewels of Miyazu in the span of the afternoon- lunch at Dondonya (yumny udon & the friendliest shop keepers in Japan), caffeinated at the beautiful cafe next door, strolled along the river back to my apartment, and then rode bikes to Mipple. Jun had let me borrow her teeny tiny foldable bike so I rode that while Jason rode my bike. We looked like clowns but it was good times! The gaijins stormed Azitos that night and it was a fun random night.
The next day was cool and rainy... we went to the Yoshizu area, near Miyazu, to watch many of my (and Bryn's) students do their annual sword dancing in the streets. I can't do it justice, so read here for Bryn's very intimate experience....
Since it's more of a village festival rather than one of the big city productions, it was really mellow- people came out of their homes to watch as the large group moved through the streets, slowly making their way to the shrine. It was a slow, but very beautiful traditional ritual moving along to the beating of a big taiko drum in a "yatai" and men playing their wooden flutes than an exciting fast sword-waving festival. It was so cool to see many of my students partaking in such a beautiful ceremony (although some of them were a little embarrassed or felt "obligated")!