Tag Archives: festival

Isuzu Fujisawa Festival 2014

Two weeks ago, on August 1st, my family went to the 36th annual Isuzu Fujisawa Festival at the Isuzu truck factory in Fujisawa.  Since it was only 20 minutes away from us on foot, it was a pretty easy decision to go to it.

The festival featured a lot of food, taiko drums, singing, festival games, mikoshi (portable shrine), and fireworks.  As you’ll see later in the video below, we didn’t stay for the fireworks, but we did see some.  The video features mostly the taiko performance, which is nice to watch.  The girl dancing to the taiko music is my daughter.  It was her first time seeing anything like this, and she really loved it.

If you’ve watched the video already, you’ll notice that we had a thunderstorm.  It was actually quite intense with a lot of lightning.  But I love a good thunderstorm.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa

Okome Matsuri, the Rice Festival

The Okome Matsuri, or Rice Festival, is being held at Yokohama’s Aka Renga Soko this weekend.  My family and I went to it yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the sunny weather and plenty of food.

Aka Renga Soko is often used as the site of many events.  Oktoberfest is also there.  At the festival, there were several tents set up for food vendors, which were selling a large variety of interesting foods.  I’d like to talk about what I ate, since everyone was there for the food.

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The festival grounds with the Red Brick Warehouses in the background.

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Ebi kushiten (Shrimp tempura on a stick) was pretty good. I love shrimp tempura, and the sauce was very good.

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Maguro gyoza (tuna gyoza) was an interesting food. Usually, gyoza has pork and vegetables in it, this had tuna. It was quite good.

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This was some of the food, including mabodofu (at top), maguro gyoza, pork, ebi kushiten, and some tomato dish which I didn’t eat. At the bottom was nori.

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Grilled chicken with onion sauce was delicious. I love grilled chicken!

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Tenkara, which is karaage (fried chicken), was very good. It seemed to have a bit of a garlic flavour.

In addition to the above food, we also had 6 kinds of rice.  There were 12 types of rice available, but we chose 6.  Honestly, I didn’t find much of a difference between them.

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Other people enjoying the festival.

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Some of the vendors.

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One last picture. The sign says “Okome Matsuri.”

There was a lot of good food, and I enjoyed trying it.  I filled up on rice and plenty of meats.  It’s running until tomorrow (November 18), so if you want to check it out, I definitely recommend it.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Food, Japan, Kanagawa, Naka-ku, Yokohama

Sanma Matsuri and Typhoon 17

On September 30th, there were two events.  One was local, the other was major.

First, in Ofuna, Kamakura, there was a big festival.  This was the Sanma Festival.  Sanma is the Japanese name for a fish called Pacific saury.  But not only was this a festival about a small fish that’s grilled on a stick, it’s also a friendship festival between Ofuna and the city of Ofunato in Iwate prefecture.  Ofunato was one of the cities devastated by the tsunami of March 11, 2011.  Ofuna and Ofunato share the same kanji (大船 and 大船渡).  I managed to take a few pictures of it that afternoon.

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It’s a busy festival with lots of food.

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This intersection was being controlled so festival-goers weren’t hit by traffic.

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This banner flag says “Sanma matsuri.”

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Look at all that food.

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Finally, a picture from down on the street.

The festival ended at 3pm, which is quite early.  The reason was that Typhoon 17 (Jelawat) was on its way.  When it hit Okinawa, it was equivalent to a category 4 hurricane, and was called a super typhoon.  There was plenty of damage and power outages in Okinawa, but in the Tokyo area, we didn’t have to worry very much.  It rained a lot and the wind was strong, but it was pretty brief.

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A wet window during the typhoon.

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Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events, Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Weather

2012 Picture of the Week (32/52) – Warabi Festival Decorations

On Friday, I went to the Warabi Matsuri (Festival) for the 3rd year in a row. This time, we went right at the beginning of the festival. Very little food was available and they were still putting up the decorations. This is one of the bigger decorations that was still waiting for installation.

I was standing under this with my head in the gold streamers.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Japan, Picture of the Week, Saitama, Warabi

2012 Picture of the Week (20/52) – Ofuna Matsuri

The festival season is starting already. Summer is on its way! Last weekend, Ofuna in Kamakura held its own festival, the Ofuna Matsuri. It’s very small, only covering one city block and consisted of a handful of food stands, a brass band from a junior high school and a parade that featured Miss Kamakura. I didn’t stay for the festival, but I walked through it.

This is about one third of the food stands at the festival.

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Filed under Japan, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Picture of the Week

Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival

Hina Matsuri is also known as the Doll Festival or Girls’ Day in Japan.  It’s a celebration of girls and held on March 3rd.  Traditionally, dolls were set afloat down a river to take away the bad spirits.  On this day, families with daughters display a tiered platform with red carpet and many dolls, including the Emperor and Empress, musicians, court ladies and many traditional tools and furniture.  In my family, we have a small set, which isn’t as elaborate as the full set, but it is quite nice to look at.  The display is set up in late February and taken down immediately after the festival.  Superstition says that if it is left out too long after the festival, the daughter will marry late.

Take a look at our Hina Doll set.

This is our Hina Doll set. It's a miniature set, so less elaborate than one of the big ones.

At the top are the Emperor and Empress. There are some lamp stands and a gold folding screen. The next level has the 3 court ladies, all holding sake equipment.

The third platform has 5 male musicians, including taiko drum, otsuzumi (large drum), kotsuzumi (small drum), the flute and a singer with a folding fan.

The fourth platform has 2 diamond shaped rice cakes and a couple of miniature trees, mandarin orange on the left and cherry on the right. The fifth platform shows various tools and furniture.

This is a miniature chest of drawers.

On the left are a couple of hibachi, I believe. On the right is a mirror stand.

Not exactly sure what these are, but my guess is for cooking.

The sixth platform has some more tools. The seventh platform has some food and drink.

This is a kago, or a kind of vehicle that is carried by two people. The passengers sit inside.

This is a chest for storing kimonos.

And this is a carriage pulled by an ox.

This is hina arare, which contains puffed rice and sugar candy.

This is gelatin in 3 coloured layers, pink, white and green.

This is a kind of peach juice.

If you live in Japan and have a daughter, do you also have a Hina Doll set?

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Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events

Warabi Festival 2011

On August 7, my fiancee and I went to the Warabi Matsuri in Warabi, Saitama with her sister.  Last year’s festival was pretty good, and I was looking forward to eating lots of festival food this year.  Unfortunately, we only had an hour until the end of the festival, and there was a pretty bad storm with spectacular lightning.  The rain forced us to head for cover while we tried to eat.  I had hoped to get pictures of the food stalls where I bought food, but thanks to the rain, I kept my camera safe.  However, I did get two photos!  What did I eat, you ask?  I had barbecued corn on the cob, jagabataa (potatoes and butter), yakisoba, karubi steak (beef rib meat) on a stick, and some flat gyoza-like food.  My favourite festival food is the potatoes.

Warabi has a large foreign population, and it’s one of the smallest and most densely populated cities in Japan.  There are plenty of Turkish people there, and at the festival, they sold kebab sandwiches.  Why did we go to Warabi for the festival?  It’s my fiancee’s hometown.  Enjoy the two pictures.

Warabi Matsuri is very colourful. Unfortunately, the skies were stormy.

Enjoy the colours. The focus wasn't very good, thanks to darkness and rain.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Food, Japan, Saitama, Warabi