Hey guys, it seems the matsuri posts aren’t very popular sadly, so I’ll end this series on this one. I could be wrong, but I believe that all these matsuri Spring is apparently the season of Matsuri’s with a number of different regions holding on matsuri’s on different weekends. The dates are usually somewhat planned in advance. For example, the earliest matsuri will sometimes start with the Southernmost town/city and move Northward from there. You could in fact go to all of them, but the method of celebration is largely the same, with only slight distinctions between areas. However,the main feature that sets each matsuri apart is the 山車 or dashi. These things essentially function as portable shrines and they are dragged all across the town from shrine to shrine to shower blessings along the way. The finishing point for this parade route also sets the point where all the shops gather up to serve the hundreds of people who have been participating with food and games. Alright without more introductions, let’s go on with the happenings of the day!
This matsuri was completely different in scale from the one I saw near my place last week. For starters, every single shrine in the suburb of Tokoname was participating this meant a whooping 6 dashi and a huge crowd to go with each one. I have no idea how many people participated, but probably most of the town did. Each dashi is dedicated to a different temple and they are supposedly relics with extremely long histories. They had information pamphlets for each car, but I was too lazy to read them hah!
The dashi appear to be extremely heavy and the pullers and pushers from each dashi take liberal but planned breaks. There was never a case of one group of people running into another group. The breaks are also strictly planned and timed by the leader of each cart so the floats are extremely punctual. If the map says the floats will be at the bridge I’m standing on at 2:25pm, they WILL be there at 2:25pm. It’s a bit of a departure from North American parades that are routinely 1-2 hours late.
The atmosphere is just incredible at the matsuri, everyone is incredibly pumped about the whole thing. You can usually hear their Sei!! NO!! chants far before you can actually see the dashi in the distance. In the city, every time they pass by a store that’s open, they all mob the store while singing some sort of song to offer their blessings like so!
or like so!
Slowly but surely, the dashi all arrive at the finish point, which happens to be in front of the train station. They start putting up these electric lanterns and other decorations on their dashi once they’re parked and get to partying it up with the crowd.
And time for the older ones to party!
And the lolis to take over the work of making music :(.
Once fully setup, the dashi are actually pretty darn cool. They also keep the lanterns on for the night stretch of the matsuri. Though they have to take those tall things on the top off, because they make the dashi unstable when moving.
Ok enough about the dashi :P. Now for the real fun part, the booths. Unfortunately, the booths were mostly food and very few games. I really wanted to try catching goldfish with paper nuts, since that seems to be commonplace in harem manga/anime :P. However, I did find this! Real life Fish shaped Taiyaki!
I also found…. Candied Applies or ringo ame. I swear I see these things in anime all the time, but now that I need a shot of it, I can’t find it.
Here are some other shots of the food available. I ended up going for the Osaka Yaki, the takoyaki, and the taiyaki.
Alright I better wrap this up. Around 7PM, the dashi all departed from the train station to park at the nearest shrine. The procession was the same as during the day, but now we have lights and night photography :P.
Anyway… in conclusion :P. I made this with the stop motion video capability of my camera. It’s gotta be the dumbest feature ever included on a DSLR, but oh well.
Alright, that’s it for now! I had a lot of fun attending this, as you can probably tell from my post :P. I hope you guys enjoyed reading too! Next stop is hopefully Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Onomichi inspired by my current favorite manga Pastel!