Tag Archives: japanese festival

Japanese Festivals: Nue barai Matsuri in Izu Nagaoka, Shizuoka Prefecture-第49回鵺ばらい祭

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The picture of the day: a smiling face inside a monster’s mouth!

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Yesterday I traveled all the way train from Shizuoka City to Izu Nagaoka Station by train and took the the local bus to Yu Rakkasu Park to attend an unusual Matsuri/Japanese Festival!
I managed to arrive one hour before the start of the festivities which allowed me to have a good location at the location and its people!
As in any festival the locals were selling food to the visitors!

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Okonomiyaki and karaage!

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A local specialty, big deep-fried gyoza!

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The stage!

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I saw the students from Nagaoka Junior High School arriving directly from their school!
The lady in the middle is Ms. Kamoshita, Director of the Izu No Kuni City Tourism Bureau who had faxed me the details of the vent!

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Mount Fuji was looking after us all the time!

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The program clearly indicated for everyone’s benefit!

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One of the great staff in attendance who kept me informed me all afternoon!

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A great hapi/festival coat!

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Great kids from Nagaoka Junior High School!
So well-mannered, ever smiling and enthusiastic!
Years ago the festival used to be performed by adults. Now it is exclusively enacted by Nagoka Junior High School!
And from this year boys and girls are equally represented!

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the drummers practicing before the event!

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The “nue/鵺”!
The nue is a monster of old Japanese lore. Check the NUE LORE HERE!
It is monster with the head of a monkey, the body of a tiger and a snake as a tail in Izu Nagaoka.
The legend was brought a lot time ago to Izu Peninsula from Kyoto by a Lord’s wife.
It is a monster/spirit thought to be a bringer of misfortune and illness.
This festival is held every year to make sure it does not appear to mistreat the local inhabitants!

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Great kids again including some big boys!

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One of the very old drums used during the festival!

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A last practice!

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But before the Nue Dance we witnessed a Japanese archery/Kyuudou/弓道 demonstration, which an integral part of the festival, held by the local Japanese Archery Association!

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These two gentlemen might be of a grand age but they did not miss their target!

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Male archers!

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And female archers!

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The nue did not stand a chance!
The target made of paper was subsequently shredded into small pieces to be distributed among the onlookers for good luck!
I got mine, which might come useful when facing the home dragon!

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By then the nue dancers had got ready and were coming out of the changing room!

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Some of the costumes had to be carried by hand!

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Samurais!

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I would like to thank these two young ladies who were so kind to answer this strange foreigner’s questions!

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Peace!

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Getting ready in the cold wind!

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The choreographer giving his last advice!

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And the dance starts!

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The nue and its minions ready to pounce!

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The fever went up a grade with the drumming!

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The nue’s minions are taunting the samurai!

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Mind you the kids inside are no monsters!

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The nue has crept among its minions!

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The minions first attempt to frighten the onlookers!

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There must be some kind of hierarchy among the minions as a few carry big tail snakes!

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The minions are attacking!

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Why have they stopped?

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This is the reason!

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The samurai have come to defend the onlookers by first loosing arrows!

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But the nue’s minions are undaunted and chase the samurai who have to unsheathe their swors!

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All the while the nue is looking at the action from a safe distance!

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Nothing frightening about these two sweet young ladies!

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While the nue kept looking at the action I crept behind it for some photoes!

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Big and horrible tail!

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Nasty head!

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The samurai were starting to get the upper hand!

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Take that!

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The nue’s minons were getting killed one by one!

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The nue’s minoons had all been cut down!

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The Nue still did not intervene!

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Things seemed to be all but lost…

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But this is when the Nue finally came into the fray!

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The drummers lustily encouraged the samurais!

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But the onlookers started throwing beans at it!

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The Nue roars back into the fight!

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But the samurais show no fear!

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The Nue is struck with fear!

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The samurais have started their killing dance!

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The Nue has no chance!

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The Nue is finally down!

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The Town and its citizens are saved again this year!

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Well done, lads and gals!

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The onlookers picking the beans which contributed to the demise of the Nue!

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The two choreographers who teach the kids every year!
They are brothers and volunteers.
As the second generation of choreographers they confided that they are aiming at teaching the next generation to make sure the Festival outlives them!
Well done, gentlemen!

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All the while local geishas working at the hot springs establishments had been stoically waiting for their turn in the cold!

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And they graciously danced for all!
Don’t ask me why I chose this particular lady! LOL

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The Nue mascot!

Looking forward to my next visit to Izu Nagaoka!

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, 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: 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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Daidogei Street Performers Festival in Shizuoka City 2013 (November 1st~4th) 2

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Lucie Brouillard, face painting artist from Quebec!

The weather today being markedly cooler than yesterday encouraged me to have a look at what happening in downtown Shizuoka City during the second day of the 2013 version of Daidogei Street performers Festival!
Bear in mind that I’m only interested in the “side shows”, leaving the main show with the professional guests in Sumpu Park to other geeks!

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I was supposed to meet friends of Shizuoka JR Station who never turned up but I was lucky enough to take a pic of this Japanese acrobat couple’s last gig!

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A mime/clown from Chile!

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The marching was still here!

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Another bunch of clowns!

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The ostriches were still there, too!

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Lucie Brouillard, my favorite side show artist at work!

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This mother actually requested a penguin to dhow her kid!

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Pixie mother and daughter!

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Nail painting!
For adults!

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More nail painting!
For kids!

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Young male bodies….

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A great way to entice customers!

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Who are the real kids?

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Face drawings apparently done by art students!

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This pantomime is a regular feature year after year and is getting more and more attention from onlookers and the media!

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A frightening centipede from South Korea!
I heard that they also performed in my own hometown’s Street Performers Festival in Chalon Sur Saone, France last July, which is also visited every year by Masaaki Koga, the chief organizer of this Festival in Shizuoka City!

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The kid didn’t care a fig!

To be continued…………

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

Daidogei Street Performers Festival in Shizuoka City 2013 (November 1st~4th) 1

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Masaaki Koga, the Man who made it all possible!

The 2013 version of the Shizuoka Daidogei has finally kicked off in bright sunshine and I took the opportunity to take a few pictures as the long week-end will be a real tussle!

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A small marching band?

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Like the years before faint painting was one of the most popular events right from the beginning!

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True colors?

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A pixie?

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An elf?

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A loving couple!

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Even the models were highLy concentrated!

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Photographer being photographed!

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Hey! What’s this?

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Giant ostrich!

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Beware the fowl!

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Plenty of clowns of all ages everywhere!

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Ready for the picture?

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masaaki Koga and his troops/troupes looking forward to meeting you tomorrow again!

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

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!

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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!

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

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

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

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Peace”!

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Well, the younger generations are still hopeful!

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Great kid!

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

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

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All waiting quietly!

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Let me do it for you, kiddo!

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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.

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Posing for the ladies?

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Old hands taking it easy!

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Great “happi/半被” design!

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Colorful butterflies!

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

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Elegant!

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

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Proud participants!

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Still waiting…

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

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

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

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This one was topped with a Japanese phoenix!

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Can you see etched against the background?

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This one, too!

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I love dragons!

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I really love dragons!

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Almost ready…

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

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At last the parade/procession is being launched!

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Headed by the singers!

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

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Maybe a bit older but enjoying every moment of it!

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

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Good team work!

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With their eyes kept on the leaders!

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Slowly but steadily warming up to the event!

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Ambling in cadence through the crowd!

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Great smile!

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Strong ladies!

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Stopped by a traffic light…

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Hold it a bit more, guys!

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Handsome gentleman for the lady photographers!

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As strong as a man!

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And certainly more beautiful!

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Proud old men!

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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

Shimada Obi Festival 7: Daimyou Gyouretsu-The Lord Parade

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The Sabres Dancer!

I finally went to watch the Shimada Obi Festival today where I took literally hundred of pictures and have to divide this report on of the strangest/unusual festivals in Japan into many parts!
This report is about the last section of the festival and features the nationally famous Sabre Dancers!!

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the Daimyou Gyouretsu/大名行列 is the sole responsibility of the Dai Nana Kai/第七街/Seventh District and come last after all the chariots, stage dancers and parades have come through since 8:30 a.m. They usually start between 13:00 and 14:30 depending on the day.

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Onlookers were sitting on the kerb a good hour before the scheduled Parade!

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They are very strict about the organisation and young members ensure that there isn’t the slightest impediment.
I was told in no uncertain term by a metal cane wielding young man to move to the sides well before the parad actually reached my spot!

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The “leaders” are extremely proud of their prerogatives, even by Japanese standards.
This is after all the aristocratic part of the festival and in Edo times they were far more obvious about their power and authority as the local Lord and his retainers paraded for real!

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The first herald!

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The lancers!

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The Lord’s mark of authority carried inside portable boxes!

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Heavy stuff actually!

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Those two kids are supposed to represent the two most powerful retainers!

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The archers!

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Kids have also taken the place of the Lord and his sons on horses!
And horse handlers are now ladies!

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The Lord parading past a cake shop!

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Most of the lower ranked retainers parade is enacted by children!

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Those dancers are a modern addition!

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The hairstyles were vastly different, then! LOL

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At least these kids are not taking it all too seriously!

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The Overlord was pulled along atop a small float.

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Bow to the Lord!

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Taking a rest and being re-groomed!

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No parade would come along without its music band!

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A rare smile from the handlers who seemed to enjoy themselves more than some uppity “retainers”!

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Even the lord seemed more amenable to his subjects!

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Another Lord with lady handlers!

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At last the ones all had been waiting!
The Sabre dancers!
This was makes the unique name and fame of this festival in the whole of Japan!
Enormous obi/sashes are wrapped around giant swords secured by sashes around the dancers’ waists.

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All the dancers carry different obi/sashes wrapped around their swords.
The “apron” is also unique.
All are made of expensive silk. They carry a real fortune along which is is displayed only for three days every three years!
The Parade is a very expensive a affair to take charge of. Therefore it has been held every 3 years ony for 107 times!

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The dancing is also a tough challenge along the 1.7 km ( 1 mile) main road which takes more than two hours.
To think they go through that three days in a row!

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The Dancers have to hold an umbrella (they certainly need it in the heat!) with one hand, make big waves with the other hand and raised the knees high with every step!

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Tough for photographers who are not allowed to stand or walk in front or across the Parade!

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Not so many onlookers on the sunny side of the road which could burn your skins in a jiffy, but one couldn’t walk on the shady side between the Parade and the houses along the street!

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Some of them were obviously tired!

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Tough work to raise your knees under that heavy apron!

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Tough work too to raise your arm above the shoulder and make a circling wave back and forward!

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Helpers were carrying low stools on which they could rest every time the parade had to stop!

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A well-earned rest!
Mind you, even in such a sitting position it must be tough to carry all that finery along!

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Fortunately an army of handlers were here to give plenty of support, water and encouragements!

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One thing was sure, all had strong legs!
The dancers are basically different every three years as it is a very sought after honor!

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This particular dancer was very popular with the crowd as he took often the time to look and wink at them. Note the whiskers!

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There was plenty more to follow including the brandishing and throwing of decorated poles but I was running out of batteries!

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A common feature to top-class Japanese Festivals!

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I hope that in three years’ time technology will have evolved enough to make it a film of it all without fear of running out of batteries!

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

Shimada Obi Festival 6: The “Clash” of the Chariots

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Make way!

I finally went to watch the Shimada Obi Festival today where I took literally hundred of pictures and have to divide this report on of the strangest/unusual festivals in Japan into many parts!
This report is about the so-called clash of the chariots (not real floats) and all its fun!

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Dai Nikai Yatai/Second district Chariot

The Chariots/Yatai seen during the Shimada Obi Festival are chariots more than floats.
Shimada City counts seven districts, Dai/第 Ichi, Ni, san, Yon, Go, Roku and Nana Kai/街.
The first six districts look after their own chariot which is also used as theater platform where plays are enacted by local kids.
The seventh district is in charge of the Lord Parade/Daimyou Gyooretsu!

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Lovely fans of the Dai Nikai/Second district!

Although each chariot, after “having received permission from the other districts” is allowed to mave along the main district past all districts.

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More lovely fans of the Dai Nikai!

But the fans will stay inside their own District to cheer their chariot as it passes them by.

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The “movers”!

Although the chariots are mounted on wheels, these same wheels are more of wood and metal and are fixed to the frame. They do not roll!
One main reason for that is that a free-wheeling chariot is just too unstable to control.
Hence the armies of “movers”!

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Now, this is tough work to ensure three days in a row!

Each “mover” is armed with a long pole made of a solid tree trunk cut at a slant at its base.
The poles will be used to lift and push the chariots from any side as thick tree trunks are fixed to the bottom frame just above ground!

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Whereas at other times of the day the chariots will become the theater stages, in the morning they are paraded along the main street to the sounds of drum and Japanese fife players sitting inside!

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The rope pullers of the Dai Ni Kai!

On the other hand teams of young men will pull the chariots with long ropes to help move forward.
But when it comes to moving sideways the “movers” will take care of the show!

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The Fourth/Dai Yon Kai District pullers having a break!

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Getting ready!

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A last re-adjustment before the pull!

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A few more details to take care of!

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the “cheerleaders” standing on the roof, sticks in hands!
Notice that they are all light-weight!

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The fans’ fans!

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The Dai Yon Kai Chariot about to start!

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The Dai Ni Kai Chariot about to star, too!
The whole affair is to manage to have two chariots moving along each other in different directions without any mishaps!
Not easy!

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Still waiting to start…

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Just a few more seconds…

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Start the drums!

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Moving forward at a slant needs so much physical synchronization!

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Now the “problem” is starting! Both teams must absolutely ensure the very close by-passing!

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The “clash” is beginning!
Actually it is all carefully planned banter.
The two chariots “riders” will scream at each other to leave the way or move aside.
There will be no real fight in spite of the very “serious” faces of the participants.
But in the rare occasion when the chariots do hit each other by accident older members will immediately run between the handlers and shout them away from each other in no uncertain words!
The police is invisible at such times and the citizens handle themselves!

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The “riders” guiding the “pullers” and Movers” sideways to the sounds of sticks and whistles!

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The “movers” concentrate on their task as if nothing was happening…
Mind you, they are well armed! LOL

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Handlers waiting patiently while riders are screaming at each other!

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In the meantime some young pullers are having their own fun!

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C’mon guys! Let’s go with it!

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Unrelenting drumming during all that time!

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Some young ladies were very serious at it!

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Move aside, will ya!

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Now that we getting closer the “movers” are waiting for the “directions”…

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It is the turn of the riders to frantically scream at each other while directing their respective chariots!

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careful guys, careful!

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Move aside!

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Steady! Steady!

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Very little leeway, I can assure you!

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All the time the fans’ fans in a frenzy!

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The last scramble!

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Safely through, but look at those “stares”!

Part 7 will the daimyou Gyouretsu/Lord Parade close the show!

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

Shimada Obi Festival 5: The Food Stands!

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Brochettes, brochettes, brochettes!

I finally went to watch the Shimada Obi Festival today where I took literally hundred of pictures and have to divide this report on of the strangest/unusual festivals in Japan into many parts!
This report is about the food the Japanese take for granted at a Japanese Festival or such events! It becomes nothing less than a giant BBQ!

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Like any city worth its salt in Japan and furthermore staging a major festival or event a very large space will be made available for visitors to refresh and feed themselves (as well as relieve themselves).
This space in Shimada City is either used for open-air events, festivals or as a supplementary car park.
As cars are prohibited form entering the town center during the the 3-day festival, the space is just ideal.
The sign reads: “”One of the Three Unusual Festivals in Japan. Welcome. 107th Shimada Big Festival/Obi Festival”!

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Not only the city provides the space for the food stands to be erected along its perimeter but it also provides the tents, chairs, tables and plastic white table cloths for visitors to eat and drink comfortably under the searing sun in day time or eventual rain!

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They also install large trash boxes regularly emptied and cleaned all day long by city workers!
The trash boxes are divided for “Bottles (glass) & Cans”, “Burnable Trash”, “Trash to be Incinerated (heavier than the former)” and “Plastic Pet Bottles (soda, etc,)”!

OK, let’s go around the food stands!

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Charcoal-grilled “ayame” trouts!

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Naturally sausages are a must!

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It is also a good time to sample specialties from all over Japan: Oita (Kyushu) style stir-fried chicken!

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Hiroshima-style noodles, pasta, Yaki, Okonmiyaki!

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Yakitori!

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Fujinomiya City has made Shizuoka famous all over the country for its Yakisoba/Stir-fried noodles!

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These disappear within a blink of the eye!

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Plenty of draft beer available!

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Tai Yaki (seabream-shaped pancakes containing anko/sweet meat beans) for the kids and sweet teeth!

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Giant nikuman/large dumplings made of steamed bread and pork. I had the bottom one made with Shizuoka tea!

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Fried sweet potato and potato sticks!

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Whirly sausages!

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Spicy stir-fried chicken!

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I also had one of these Osaka-style takoyaki/dumplings containing octopus!

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More pork kushiyaki/brochettes!

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Cotton candy!
In France we call them “daddy’s beard”!

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Not a food stand actually, but a soft drinks and kids game stand!

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Another BBQ staple: deep-fried potato brochette, broiled corn and deep-fried sweet potato sticks!

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This particular charcoal-grilles sausages and pork brochetttes stand had a constant 20-people queue stretching in front of it!

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Chorizo sausage pizzas!

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Giant crepes! Sweeeeeeeeeet!

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Oden! A shizuoka specialty!

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Karaage/Deep-fried chicken!

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Baked sweet potato cakes!

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Drinks! Including Shizuoka sake! Shimada city is famous all over Japan for its “Onna Nakase/Make a Woman Cry” sake brand!

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Mexican sausage and potato tortilla!

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Kawane green tea!
Shizuoka produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan!

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These two ladies were having a ball selling miso mochi!
Just another proof that sexiness is ageless!

We will go back to the action in Part 6: “The Clash Of The Chariots”!

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!
-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