Festivals, Performances, and School Activities

Seeing as it has been about three weeks now I figure now would be a good time than ever to update this travel blog. So let me begin with the Inuyama Fall Festival.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Japan has many festivals held throughout the year and I was lucky enough to attend this one in Inuyama. Now, festivals in America typically have booths filled with art, trinkets, and the occasional food booths. However, Japanese festivals are filled with more food booths than one could imagine. I cannot speak for every festival, but I noticed this one having many food items. The more common ones sold karaage, ika (squid) on a stick, chocolate covered bananas, kobe (beef), ice cream, shaved ice, and potato sticks. Luckily for me I had the chance to try out over 10 different type of food booths.

Karaage Stand
Karaage Stand
Small trinkets and おみやげ(souvenirs)
Small trinkets and おみやげ(souvenirs)
Process of making shaved ice
Process of making shaved ice
Matcha Flavored Shaved Ice
Matcha Flavored Shaved Ice
Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef
Potato on a Stick
Potato on a Stick
Matcha Ice Cream
Matcha Ice Cream

The real fun began at 6PM when all the floats began lighting their lanterns. Just a bit of information before I go into detail. Traditional floats in Japan are made of wood, and depending on the type of float will determine how many people are needed to push the cart through the streets. For example, the Inuyama floats are known as Yama floats. This means the floats are built high in structure (roughly 6 meters) and weighs about 1400 kilograms; therefore, these particular ones require about fourteen people pushing each one through the streets of Inuyama. You get a great sense of teamwork and pride from each float, especially when one whole float must turn corners, which by the way, can be quite dangerous to bystanders. Despite the crowd, my friends and I stood behind one and followed it near the main road of the city. Below are some pictures and videos of the festival:

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Yama Carts
Yama Carts

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October 31, 2014 – November 2, 2014

Grab your costumes and anything else you can turn into a cosplay because Japan is all about Halloween. Well, in this case it is all about school festivals and Halloween. Each year universities all around have two school festivals, one in the fall and one in the spring. This year’s first day of the festival just happened to fall on Halloween. Now, if you think costumes are just for kids, you are sadly mistaken. School festivals are probably one of the busiest and funnest part of attending school in Japan. You will see students preparing for the event about a week in advance, and the fun part is you get to dress crazy and advertise your booth. These booth’s themes vary from selling food such as:たこやき(takoyaki) 、やきそば(yakisoba)、油そば(abura soba)、ラーメン(ramen)、うどん (udon)、and much more! Not only Japanese food but food from other countries as well. Also, there are booths where you can do calligraphy, talk to international students, and decorate your own posters.

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IMG_2830 写真 2014-10-31 11 54 12

Sunday, November 9, 2014

On this day I was grateful to attend a dance recital with a friend of mine. In this recital were various styles of dances; some ranging from modern jazz, ballroom, and even hip-hop.You could say the performance was breathtaking because apparently I had forgotten to release the air from my lungs after each dance. To me, dancing is one of the most powerful means of non-verbal communication. At points in my life I must constantly be re-inspired by others in order to continue moving forward towards a goal. However, never before have I experienced such a feeling of inspiration or amazement than this particular day. No words had to be spoken, but instead only music and the graceful movements of each dancer on stage was enough for me. The first performance told a story of happiness in the life of nature. Such a small story, yet sometimes in the hectic of life we forget of the simple things which can make us smile.

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