Utogi Kagura Spring Festival in Utogi, Shizuoka City, with the Wasabi & Tea Farmers!

On the first Saturday of April and second Saturday of October are held the Spring and October Utogi kagura Festivals/有東木神楽祭 at Shirahige Shrine/白髭神社 in Utogi, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City/静岡市葵区有東木 by the local wasabi and tea farmers!
Yesterday as I happened to help a French reporter in her interviewing local wasabi farmers whose abode stands just beside the Shinto Shrine, I had the chance to say “hello” to the participants in their company!

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The stairs to the shrine up to a steep slope. We already are at about 600 meters altitude!

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That shrine had been erected no less than 500 years ago when only green tea was cultivated in this area, up in the maountains on the right bank of the Abe River!
And the oldest cedar tree rising in front was already found in local records 720 year ago. Its height is presently 35 meters, its circumference 6.80 meter and its branches spread as far as 15 meters!

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The official Utogi Village Shrine! Shirahige Shrine/白髭神社/The “white Beard” Shinto Shrine!

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The torii/鳥居/sacred birds gate found at the entrance of all Shinto Shrines in Japan!

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The cedar trees’ invasion of the stair stones is a sure indication of the shrine’ age!

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I managed to sandwich the visit on both sides of the interview which allowed me to the preparations of the dance!

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Practice on the Japanese drum!

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Practicing the songs!

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Fires had been lit for seabreams to grill. Seabreams are a symbol of prosperity even up in a Japanese mountain!

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More cooking was done nearby, especially “oden”!

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Even at this time of the year nights can turn cold!

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Local people took the opportunity to socialize!

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Salt and sake offerings to the shrine!

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The dancers taking some hot food and Japanese sake after the practice!

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When I came back later the seabreams were grilled to perfection!

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And the dancing was in full swing!

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Don’t worry, the sabers are fake! But they weren’t in Edo Times!

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A second dance was performed with bells instead of sabers!

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Naturally I was offered a taste of these succulent seabreams (and plenty of hot sake!)!

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And even more with hot sake!

Looking forward to the Autumn Festival!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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