[夏まつり@半蔵門]

21 07 2008

since today is a national feast in japan – something like 海day – I don’t have classes! yay! 休日! so yesterday I stayed really late watching j-ドラマ. I went through some of [stand up!!!] episodes just to see 戸越 (togoshi) again and then inevitably switched to [yamada taro monogatari] to see nino. one of the episodes features 七夕 (tanabata) the feast of 7th july when you write your おねがい (wishes) in a piece of paper and hang them in a bamboo. then they went to the typical summer festival where you put on your yukata and geta, there are stand with food and drinks and loads of games. I had seen it so many times in anime and manga, the silly plastic-masks that ranged from traditional designs to mecha-like anime characters; the small pools full of tiny fish you’ve got to pick up with mini-nets; the darts, ball or ring-throwing games that earn you prices – so much like our typical fairs and yet so different. I had always wanted to experience one of those…

going to みたままつり (mitamamatsuri) at 半蔵門 (hanzoumon) was like being in a manga for me. these never-ending street presided with three huge torii (shinto gate) that take you to [靖国神社](yasukuni jinja, a very controversial shinto shrine dedicated to the spirits of dead soldiers) was lined from start to end with hundreds of small matsuri stands.

焼そば (yakisoba) sauté noodles with vegetables, meat and soy sauce.

お好み焼き (okonomiyaki) in its most popular version.

たこ焼き (takoyaki) just like the one we have at musashi!

I don’t remember what this was called so I privately named it “yakizakana” (grilled fish)

チョコバナナ (choco-banana), chocolate dipped banana sparkledwith toppings.

jelly-fruit (or fruit dipped in jelly and frozen)

you see, the most popular were takoyaki, okonomiyaki and yakisoba stand for salty food – though there were a few others – and jelly-fruit, choco-banana and 氷 (koori) – no pic for this one, sorry – for sweet stuff. [koori] means literally “ice”, and that’s what it is basically: smashed ice on top of which you pour different fruit-flavoured syrups and then eat with the flat end of a straw. you could also find sweet potato and [dango]! the first time I tried dango was at home when miki brought some from a store. but this was completely different, you could choose between salty – mitarashi or with [nori] – and sweet – with [kinako] or dipped in [anko]. there were so many things to try that you wouldn’t know where to begin… also there are dozensof stands offering the same thing – note: take a careful look before buying because prices sometimes vary slightly from one stand to the other.

most stands with prices announced big bargains like psp’s, wii’s or nds for 500¥a go. obviously these things are arranged so you never get the top price, so we didn’t even try – it’s like UFO machines,  no matter how many times I walk around watching eager teenagers after cute plush(or grownups trying to catch an anime female-character figure wearing hardly anything) I have yet to see someone getting their price. all those things are just money eaters and tokyo is full of them.

then there was this “hunted house” or “house of horror” thing that really reminded me of [nobuta wo produce] and their school festival. it was pretty lame and shabby, but it was cool. entry was about 500¥; if we didn’t give it a try was because we were dead tired – we had been to 池袋 (ikebukuro)  that morning and our feet were killing us.

as in every matsuri there was traditional dancing and drumming and a lot of people in yukata – light piece of clothing resembling a robe that is worn generally in summer. people danced around a small rounded stage were the music was played – anyone could join in and try to copy his neighbours movements, though this was not always the wisest thing to do.

drummers, an obaachan dancing and a caption of a woman’s yukata I liked.

cute japanese kids. please look at the boy’s panda uchiwa!

yukata+converse=cool!!!

when you approached the temple you would see line after line of yellow lanterns. it became apparent when we started reading them that they had family names, school names and associations written on them some even had army sections and the like – at the time we found this awkward but after I read the wiki-article on 靖国神社 I begun to understand. all in all they looked beautiful, glowing yellow and ink-black in the middle of the night.

 yes, one of this pictures went to my new banner :3

oh! I finally found the best way to store my photos. I went for picasa and it works fine, so the rest of the album is here if you want to take a look. :)

ps: closest subway station is 九段下 (kudanshita), tokyo metro hanzoumon line, tokyo metro tozai line and toei shinjuku line.

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2 responses

22 07 2008
Akiko-chan

Waaaaaaaa!!! Siempre he querido ir a esas fiestas!!! Son preciosas y la comida parece tannn deliciosaaa!!! (Estoy babeando)
Nanaaa, te echo mucho de menos, ‘snif, snif’, de vez en cuando pon fotos tuyas, que me voy a olvidar de tu cara!! Chuuu!!

23 07 2008
nanachan707

I would post photos of me if it weren’t for the fact that I’m always taking them!!!

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