Yesterday my wife and I went to a festival that I had been wanting to see for years but never got a chance until this year.
We were a bit early for the festival so, since the festival was in 浅草 (Asakusa, Tokyo), we decided to go by the Tokyo Sky Tree tower and walk to Asakusa from there.
Once we got to 浅草 (Asakusa), we went to watch the 江戸消防慰霊祭 (Edo Firefighters Memorial Ceremony).
This is the festival that I wanted to see yesterday.
It’s a ceremony to honor fallen firefighters. The ceremony involves the firefighters dressed as firefighters in Japan did centuries ago and doing stunts on bamboo ladders.
In ancient Japan, firefighters had to balance on such ladders while fighting fires and they would practice such stunts on the ladders in order to improve their strength and balance.
Modern firefighters in Japan still practice these stunts…for tradition and to improve their strength and balance.
Actually, last January I went to the 「東京消防出初式」 (“Tokyo Fire Departments New Year Drill“). That ceremony had many exciting shows including a similar ladder show. But it was still fun to watch again yesterday.
After the ceremony was over we stopped by a store and I saw these vending machines. One looks like Ultraman…it sells, among other things, 「ウルトラコーラ」 (“Ultra Cola“).