Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monju-do Defune Festival

On Tuesday evening, Jun, Yumi, and I donned our yukatas and joined Hide on the boat from Miyazu to Amanohashidate for one of the biggest festivals of the area.

It is an ancient traditional festival dedicated to "sea safety" (or another reason to have fireworks and fire breathing dragons).

We ate from the many food stands (yakisoba and my favorite- "taiyaki", a red bean filled sweet shaped like a fish) and milled around until we found Bryn, Jannie and Becky sitting along the water.

About 200 torches were lit along Amaohashidate and the bay glowed with hundreds of floating paper lanterns. We were entertained by taiko performances, traditional dances, and two dancing dragons, all on a stage set up on the water! A spectacular fireworks show ended the festival!

I felt like a rockstar as many of my students (who thought I had already left Japan) jumped up and down, screaming my name! (It was their first time to see me wearing a yukata!)

OH, and swimming season has "officially" started... just in time for me to leave!!! boo...

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