There's no denying it: Rainy season is over (something like 22 days earlier than average!), which means summer is here and it is hot. And humid. And it's going to last at least two months. Of course, we wouldn't have it any other way in a beach town — who wants cool, drizzly summers when … Continue reading Summer in Kamakura
Roses are red... and pink, yellow, orange and white at the Kamakura Bungakukan's Rose Festival
Japanese summers are pretty spectacular. They buzz (cicadas) and DON DON DON (taiko drums). They whistle and gong and chant (festivals). They're burning hot and impossibly humid. But if you let the music drifting from the festival grounds carry you along, not only will you make it to fall without melting into a puddle … Continue reading Bon Odori Summer Festivals
At this spring's Hase Ichi (Hase Market), there was a big blackboard for kids to colour all over while their parents browsed booths selling knickknacks, art, and food. I've been struggling to draw the Daibutsu, but after seeing these two chalk drawings, I think I can do it.
The Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri/Momo no Sekku/Girls' Day) is just around the corner (well, March 3), and families with daughters—and hotels like Hakone's Kowaki-en—are setting out their decorations. Families with daughters display a special set of dolls to bring happiness and health to their girls. The dolls represent the wedding procession of an emperor and … Continue reading Hina Matsuri Tsurushibina
Takoyaki is a favourite festival food in Japan. It's made of balls of batter mixed with chopped up octopus, and, in this case, teeny tiny octopi. Takoyaki made with wee octopi doesn't really float my boat, though normal takoyaki is pretty good—as long as the octopus pieces are suction cup-free.
Leaving the festival at Amanawa Jinja, I had hoped to get some video of the drummers at the entrance, but alas, they had packed up for the night. Only one yukata-clad woman was left, tidying up.
The place for kids to buy useless junk that will break in a week, the toy booths at festivals are always overflowing with flashing knickknacks like swords, headbands and the like.
Another favourite food booth at festivals—yakitori, which is chicken on a stick (and other meats, too). Yakitori is delicious, but you have to watch out for the liver, cartilage and chicken skin ones... Unless, of course, you like that kind of thing.
Just look at them! All colourful and bright. Lannnternnns...