Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yabusame at Kikusui Festival in Utsunomiya

Yabusame - traditional Japanese archery on horseback. This guy today had 100% shooting accuracy.



His poor horse was foaming at the mouth. I hope he got a carrot afterwards.


And this is the very short yabusame track as viewed from Parco department store across the street.

The festival was organized by Futaara shrine.


And this is how it looked like on video:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kikusui festival girls

Because the typhoon hit today and we couldn't go to the festival, here is a photo from the event last year.


Hopefully, if the weather gets better, we will go tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tochigi style pizza

made in an oya stone wood burning oven:



One of the many things (OK, not many, barely a few) things that Tochigi is famous for is the oya stone.


Used for building walls, sheds, private insane asylums, and now - also pizza ovens.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Roof in Kanuma

at Kikusui en:



We should get full autumn colors any minute now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Daimyo Gyoretsu in Utsunomiya

Feudal lords procession to the Utsunomiya Castle Park.


And they were no lords, only elementary and high school kids (with a few adults) in period dressup.


The procession went from Nishi elementary school along Orion-dori (Orion St) to Futaara shrine.


And then from the shrine to the Castle park.

Nothing exciting. I couldn't believe that I had to get up at 7AM for THAT! Boo...



And here's a very short and very boring video of what it looked like:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Japan Cup 2010

in Utsunomiya downtown:



and that car with bikes on top of it:


And a random guy (number 45) going for it:

Friday, October 22, 2010

A few more images from the warrior march in Nikko

which took place last weekend.

Yes, we like horses. Maybe not as much as we like cats, but there are few things in the world that we like as much as cats.

And one of those things would be mikoshi:



Lions? Though technically cats, they're not my thing:


And falcons? Only of the wooden variety:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I can sleep like a baby tonight

Our quest to collect all required release forms for the Life in a Day project is over.
Today we picked up the final batch of documents from Moka.
In this crazy project we were assisted by these two miracle workers from Moka City Hall:


And also by our friends: Yukari, Teruko and Masa. We couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Last Sunday in Nikko

Yes, it was the October edition of the 1000 warrior march. With anything but warriors, and nowhere near close to one thousand.

But that's OK.

You can't have a procession without a mikoshi. Only one in the fall, but there are three in the spring edition of this event.

Bored old people...

And a foreigner so excited his tongue was hanging out.

You know what? You're marching with kids half your age, you are twice (if not three times) their size, and you look painfully out of place. I understand that you are excited and that this is a big deal for you. But c'mon now... Sticking out your tongue? No wonder that so many Japanese think that foreigners have no class and zero manners.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nervous horse

From Shimotsuke Times:

Around 11:25 AM on October 17th, during the 1000 warriors procession in Nikko, a horse in the parade became agitated, couldn't be controlled and got into the audience. A 57-year-old lady from Fujioka city, in Gunma prefecture broke her left foot bone and was taken to the hospital. She was sitting down while watching the procession and because of her impaired mobility (she was disabled), she was unable to escape when the horse got into the audience. She was the only one injured in this accident, other audience members around her could get away from the horse.

The management at Toshogu (the shrine organizing the festival) said the number of spectators during the two-day event was about 35 thousand and this is the first such accident in many years. "We train our horses very well, however, the horse was excited due to the crowd around him (maybe somebody used a flash to take a photo?). We are very sorry for the accident and promise we'll do our best to prevent it from happening again", they said.

Here's the horse making goofy faces at the audience:


And here - showing what his thinks of this spectacle:


And here - being calmed by his handler:

Edited to add:
Incidentally, I remember the same horse being frustrated and agitated during the even bigger parade in May. He so wanted to bolt out of there. His handler had a hard time controlling him. I guess it was only a matter of time before the horse made a run for it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The people of Kanuma Autumn Festival

Peace! -


Should have brought my sunglasses -


Eh, I'm getting too old for this -


The foreign crew (no, I don't know them) -


When butterflies and reindeer crossbreed -



And this is the last video from this event, I promise! -


And we wrote about the festival here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kanuma girls - in the rain

During the Kanuma Buttsuke Autumn Festival.

Don't ask... I don't know...
Maybe she likes to knit...


This one is positively ordinary by comparison:


And she? Wishing for waterproof hairspray, I guess:



She had the right idea. Why bother with hair in this rain, when all you need is an eyelash?

And we wrote about the festival here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yatai ready for nighttime action

Yatai get together before nighttime buttsuke (watch the video below to see what buttsuke is all about):


We are ready... 3, 2, 1 - go!


Be careful - don't hit the traffic light!


And this is what it looked like in live action:


And we wrote about the festival here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Utsunomiya mikoshi visited Kanuma

during the autumn festival:




And here's the video (because someone had to be stupid enough to get right in front of the mikoshi carried by a bunch of drunk men):



And we wrote about the festival here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When a matsuri otaku suffers from insomnia

Yes, these are the actual city districts and their actual festival floats for the Kanuma Autumn Festival. And the Imamiya shrine in marked in red.


Yes, we are only slightly mad. OCD? Quite probably. Matsuri otakus? Most definitely!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kanuma Autumn Festival - the hairstyle version (2010 edition)

It's our tradition here on Tochigi Daily Photo to bring you the best in matsuri hairstyles. And where can you find the best matsuri hairstyles in Tochigi? In Kanuma, of course!

Here are the highlights (in more ways than one) from last Sunday.


fake feathers -


real feathers -


just feathers -


keeping the hairspray industry in business -


and let's not forget about haircolor -


and pretty sprinkles and other whachumacallits -


Brace yourself, this is only part 1.

Ahhhh... I'm so proud to be a Tochigan :)


And we wrote about the festival here.
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