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25th (and last?) Shizuoka Mikoshi Festival

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Yesterday afternoon I experienced a great surprise and some disappointment at the same time….

Festivals are an integral part of Japanese life and culture.
But why are they so little advertised in some cities?
Unfortunately Shizuoka City is one of the culprits.
In the whole day I espied only one other expat when there should be droves of them!

For all the official attendance of Shizuoka City Mayor, Nobuhiro Tanabe/田辺 信宏, the participans confide me that next year it would not be possible to hold a 26th event in the same form for lack of subsidies form Government Agencies…
To think that Shizuoka Prefecture is said to be actively promoting tourism.
I didn’t even know about the event after more than 36 years of residence and I discovered it yesterday because I had changed my schedule at the last second!
And it took place for 4 hours in a row all over the center of Shizoka City along Aoba Street, Gofuku Cho Street and Shichiken Cho Street!

In spite of it all Satoko Sanada/眞田里子さん was doing some great work announcing it all to the public!

At least the sake was on hand! (Mind you, not Shizuoka City sake, but Hamamatsu City sake by Hana No Mai Brewery!)

The Mikoshi Festival still has an Association! I hope they will still find a way next year!

Peace”!

Well, the younger generations are still hopeful!

Great kid!

I had arrived just in time for the preparations in Aoba Park Street before the real start of the festivities!

I took advantage of the waiting to take some shots of the participants!

All waiting quietly!

Let me do it for you, kiddo!

There were 7 mikoshi/お神輿 from Shizuoka City and 1 from Toyohashi City in Aichi Prefecture.
The great majority of the participants are connected with lumber and construction businesses.

Posing for the ladies?

Old hands taking it easy!

Great “happi/半被” design!

Colorful butterflies!

The lady on the left wears a happi emblazoned with a “aoi/葵/hollyhock” crest, that of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu!

Elegant!

These ladies’ long happi could become a new fashion fad!

Proud participants!

Still waiting…

Let’s have a look at the mikoshi while we have some time!

If you look carefully you will realize they are a miniature copy of real shrines!

Bear in mind that these mikoshi were made by lumber workers and wood craft artisans!

This one was topped with a Japanese phoenix!

Can you see etched against the background?

This one, too!

I love dragons!

I really love dragons!

Almost ready…

Last recommendations and encouragements by the organising committee and the Mayor!

At last the parade/procession is being launched!

Headed by the singers!

This young lady seems to enjoy the whole event for more than one reason!

Maybe a bit older but enjoying every moment of it!

These old guys seem to know they have a long way ahead of them!

Good team work!

With their eyes kept on the leaders!

Slowly but steadily warming up to the event!

Ambling in cadence through the crowd!

Great smile!

Strong ladies!

Stopped by a traffic light…

Hold it a bit more, guys!

Handsome gentleman for the lady photographers!

As strong as a man!

And certainly more beautiful!

Proud old men!

Encouraged all the way by the youngest generation!
There is still plenty of hope for great traditions!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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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