August 6th, 2007

Weiß Side B: Group

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LJ did a what now? *Has not been online for a while*

I've been going to a number of festivals lately. The last was a week or so ago. The high street of Musashi Koganei was cleared for "Awa-Odori", a special kind of dance from Shikoku. Shikoku is a small island containing four prefectures far to the south of Tokyo.

The women wore these special kind of hats that looked like moons. If you can imagine cutting a circle in half horizontally and then taking the bottom half and affixing it to your head sideways (so that the ends point forwards), that's what they look like. I took photographs, but I can't seem to upload them. I was using my camera phone, so they're not that good anyway.

There was dancing on the streets and processions featuring all the standard festival instruments -- flutes, tiny gongs, kotsuzumi, taiko, even a handful of shamisen later. Of course, there was food too. I had banana kakigoori (shaved ice) and some really good yakisoba (grilled soba noodles) that was light on the cabbage and had some pretty good beef in it. Finally, there were shrimp fritto from an Italian restuarant named Gentile. It was lots of fun!

The week after that, I went with kuroe to the super-famous Sumida River Fireworks. Wow... complete disappointment! This is probably the most famous firework display in Japan, drawing thousands of people. Too many people, in fact. Asakusa station was crowded, everywhere was blocked off and we could barely see the river. There was nowhere to sit, so we just kind of stood under the underpass and watched the fireworks through one of the huge pieces of netting that blocked off the river for safety reasons. Of course, the amount of rubbish was huge and just sat there, piled high on the streets. Nasty.

Believe it or not, the fireworks themselves weren't even that good! At Sumida, they split them in two -- half of them are set off on one side of a bridge and the other half a little upstream. There are particular places where you can see both, but it's rare. So, despite the huge 'explosion count' that Sumida touts (all displays offer this number!), you'll only see about half that.

I did have some nice (and very cheap!) eel kebabs for only 100 en though.

On Saturday, I went with kuroe again to Nishidai fireworks, which is on the Mita line. The station wasn't that crowded (for a firework display, that is) and everything was clearly signposted, with it being obvious where the seats were. The area we could sit in was very beautiful and lit with lanterns. The fireworks were set off very close to us and, although they must have spent much less than Sumidagawa, the effects, type and timing were more impressive.

Not only that, but the food was great! We ate mussel kebabs (yaki-moule-kai) and the best yakitori I have ever had.

This week, Koyasu-sama has a very... special diary entry for us.

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