Tag Archives: jinbei

2009年夏の「みたままつり」

14 Jul

Yesterday (2009 July 13), we went to the first day of the 2009 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival).

This year this festival is from Monday, July 13 until Thursday, July 16. So, if you’re currently in the Tokyo area you can go to this festival. It’s at the 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine).

靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is where Japan enshrines all who have died in battle defending Japan. I wrote a bit about it in another post…click here.

We have been to 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) many times, and we go to the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) nearly every year.
I wrote a post about this festival last year…click here to see it. That post has videos and a slideshow of photos.

In the summertime in Japan, there are many Obon festivals…which are festivals to honor the deceased. And, as I wrote above, 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine) is Japan’s shrine for the war-dead. So the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) is a festival to honor the war-dead.

They were heading to the festival.

They were heading to the festival.

They say: "Mitama Festival, July 13-16. Yasukuni Shrine"

They say: "Mitama Festival, July 13-16. Yasukuni Shrine"

At the festival many people wear ゆかた and じんべい (Japanese traditional summer outfits).

At the festival many people wear ゆかた and じんべい (Japanese traditional summer outfits).

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At many summer festivals in Japan, there are haunted house attractions. These have been popular at summer festivals since long ago in Japan because it’s said that the chills from the fright help cool you off in the summer heat. (Horror movies are also popular in the summertime in Japan for the same reason).

Here’s the outside of the Haunted House attraction at 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival):

「ろくろ首」 ("Long neck Geisha Ghost") is a old traditional ghost story.

「ろくろ首」 ("Long neck Geisha Ghost") is a old traditional ghost story.

As usual, we had a good time at the 「みたま祭」 (Mitama Festival) even though it was a hot day. We had 焼きそば (Grilled Noodles) and beer, watched the ねぶた (Nebuta) float parade, and our kids played festival stall games.

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花火大会

3 Aug

Yesterday my wife, our two youngest daughters and I went to a 花火大会 (fireworks show).

My oldest went to the fireworks show with her friends.

One of our daughter’s friends came with us, too.

My wife and daughters prepared a wonderful picnic for us to enjoy during the show (just as they do every year 🙂 !)

We had おにぎり (rice balls), 枝豆 (soy beans), イカ (squid), 寿司 (sushi), corn on the cob, pineapple slices, and beer (the kids had grape soda)! Wonderful!

Fireworks shows in Japan are great. It feels like summer has officially started with the fireworks shows.

Even before the fireworks begin, the feeling of Japanese summer is in the air…

the sounds of (Cicada (if you don’t know what a Cicada is…you can read about them on this Wikipedia page)), people eating スイカ (watermelons), the jingling of 風鈴 (wind chimes), and people wearing 浴衣 (summer kimono) and 甚平 (traditional summer outfit).

Here’s photo of some people sitting down before the start of the fireworks show:

Here’s a couple videos I took of people finding a spot to watch the fireworks (there were many people dressed in 浴衣 (summer kimono) and 甚平 (traditional summer outfits) but not so many can be seen in these videos 😦 ) :

If you ever have a chance to watch a 花火大会 (fireworks show) in Japan, you’ll feel they’re excellent, I’m sure.

Also you may hear people shout 「タマヤ」 (“Tamaya!”) and 「カギヤ」 (“Kagiya!”) when the fireworks go up and explode. It’s not heard as much today as it used to…but some people still do.

This came about because centuries ago, fireworks shows were done by the Tamaya company. After a while, some workers formed a rival company called Kagiya. When that company started, the two groups would compete at fireworks shows to put on better displays.

From then on, Japanese people would call out “Tamaya! Kagiya!” at fireworks shows.

Anyways, here are six videos that I took at yesterday’s fireworks show (it’s hard to appreciate fireworks works on small YouTube screens…to really appreciate Japanese fireworks shows, come to Japan in the summer and watch one in person!)

雷!

28 Jul

Yesterday I took my two youngest daughters to a shopping mall that’s a short train ride from our home because they wanted to buy some things that they “really needed“.

I agreed to take them…but only for a short time because it looked like it would rain. And when we left the mall, that’s what it did. Really hard!

First there was thunder and lightning, then the rain came pouring down. But it was a summer shower…so it ended soon after it started.

Actually, we got lucky. It started raining soon after we boarded our train home, and stopped just before we got off the train. So we didn’t have to walk in the rain at all. Perfect timing!

Anyways, there are many summer festivals and fireworks shows in Japan this time of year. And many people wear 浴衣 (Japanese summer kimono) and 甚平 (Japanese traditional summer outfit) to these events.

At the mall, we saw a couple of girls who were probably going to a festival or fireworks show after the mall (it might have gotten rained out, though). I saw them browsing in a CD store.

It seemed like it’d make a good photo. So here’s the photo I took of them:

Here are some videos I took of the train ride while looking out the conductor’s window (a couple of them are from the ride home, so it’s raining hard):