Tanabata Matsuri

Originally this year I wanted to go back to Tohoku to catch the famous Tanabata and Nebuta summer festivals. Unfortunately, finances and work (oh damn work) conspired to prevent me from making it up there. Oh well, there’s always next year.

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As somewhat of a consolation prize, I decided to pop over to a neighboring prefecture to catch a Tanabata festival in a smaller town. Continuing the streak of amazing summer weather we’ve been having recently, the skies were just a stellar mix of rich blue hues, interspersed with fantastic white clouds and the whole affair dramatically lit from up above by a summer sun out in full force.

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We paid for the amazing weather with amazing heat – I honestly think this was one of the hottest days so far this summer, but at least it was (to use a semi-tired cliche) a dry heat – rather unusual for the normally humid Japanese summer – so we lucked out in a way. We did our best to avoid wilting under the ferocious solar onslaught by consuming copious amounts of liquid, usually in the form of kakigori (Japanese shaved ice). I’m not usually the biggest kakigori fan, but I easily consumed more on this day alone than in the past 3 years combined.

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Besides colourful taste treat sensations that turned my tongue all sorts of funky colours, I was pleasantly surprised to see a veritable (neon) rainbow of colours spread out across all the thousands of decorations lining the shops and streets. I don’t think I’ve seen this much colour in an inaka (countryside) town in quite some time!

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All in all it was a great time. I’m not sure if I’ll make it to any more summer festivals this year, but even if I don’t, this was a nice way to cap off the summer.

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A bunch more pictures after the jump, plus my usual plaintive pleas for patience while I work on the next installment of my Autumn Road Trip series.

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Okay, that’s it for now. I’m hard at work on the next installment of the Great 2008 Cross-Japan Autumn Road Trip, so stay tuned!

Now listening to: Sum 41 – In Too Deep

This brings back memories of my college days…

8 Reactions

  1. matsudolegend

    stunning once again mike. i think since i found your blog, i’ve quickly realised that i love clouds. the blueness of your summer photos… heaven.

  2. Anonymous

    the last 2 or 3 pictures didn’t download totally, but the rest are very colorful!

  3. animemiz

    I would have to agree, I love the lighting of the shots is pretty crisp. Definitely thanks for showing us a side of Japan not seen. ^_^

  4. Monique

    Love your photos as always!!
    BTW, I went to nekobukuro in the summer holidays. All thanks to you! If I hadn’t seen it on your blog I wouldn’t have know about it!!

  5. Marty

    Mike! How’s it been? Beautiful pictures as always. You should be doing this shit for a living. Get out of that office.

  6. Michaelpanda

    @Marty Thanks man. I’m trying man, believe me. Starting to work on a portfolio and such, though it’s hard with a 9-5 grind to attend to everyday :( How’s you?
    @Moritheil: thanks! And I was thinking the same thing when I was under some of the lanterns/streamers shooting upwards!
    @Monique: Hooray for nekobukuro!! Did you steal one of the cats? hahaha
    @animemiz: my pleasure!
    @matsudolegend: thanks man! And yes, there is nothing quite like the stunning depths of a gorgeous azure sky…. it’s like a little slice of heaven.