Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Festival in Kanuma

Kanuma Buttsuke Aki Matsuri - Fall Festival in Kanuma:

This year it took place on October 12th and 13th.

And it was as awesome as always. It was so nice to see old friends and walk along the yatai!

See you next year!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Only in Kanuma

Hair like this:

during the annual autumn festival in Kanuma. This year it took place on October 12th and 13th.

We've always known that Kanumans have the craziest matsuri hairstyles and now I finally know why.
As the mother of these girls explained, they also run a contest for the best matsuri hair design.

Now it makes perfect sense!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In the rain

So hot today! I wish it would rain and get rid of this sticky, humid air!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

After the rain at Miya Matsuri

When it was time to go home, it finally stopped raining.

Too bad!
Better luck next year!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The giant ritual mop

Sweeping the streets before the mikoshi procession.

It's a shinto purification ritual carried out on a grand scale.

There were several of those onusa-like mops out on the streets yesterday. They all gathered in front of the shrine and purified the heck out of everything in sight.

Each "mop" was carried and operated by a team of people who had to perfectly coordinate all the pulling and waving and lifting it up and down. Definitely a big job.

The "mopping" teams were followed by guys and gals with garbage bags, who dutifully picked up every loose shred of paper.

The best place to watch this ritual was from the windows of Parco (shopping mall).

Those spectators were the lucky ones. It started to rain within minutes and those of us on the streets got miserably wet.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Marching in Nikko

They look like elementary school kids walking to school in the morning. Yellow hats? check. Randoseru? check.

But they're not.

"Samurai" marching during the annual spring Toshogu Festival in Nikko.
It took place in mid-May. What can I cay? I'm lazy when it comes to posting photos.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Boy? Girl?

Can't decide if it's a boy or a girl.

Technically, females (other than shrine maidens - miko) are not allowed in the procession during the Toshogu spring festival.

But this year I saw quite a few that made me think that perhaps they changed the rules slightly.

The 1000 warrior march took place on May 18th, 2013.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

At Mamada Hachimangu

in Oyama, photos taken during Ja Matsuri.

I especially liked these:

And the twin snakes:

The weather was gorgeous and the shrine looked lovely:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ja Matsuri - snake festival

As every year, on May 5th at Mamada Hachimangu in Oyama.

The snakes arrive at the shrine.

Waiting time before the ritual ceremonies.

Time to give the snake a drink!

And take it for a walk in the shrine pond.

And this is what it looked like in action:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Matsugamine catholic church

Supposedly the largest building in the world made entirely out of oya stone.

And inside:

The altar:

And outside:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Setsubun 2013

Last Sunday (February 3rd) we celebrated Setsubun.
We went to Futaara shrine in Utsunomiya to see the main event:

Priests ready for ritual ceremonies.

Definitely not made for walking.

A very unhappy looking shrine maiden.

Ritual ceremonies finished, now it's time to have fun!

Yes, they throw snacks, toilet paper, tissue packs and other small items into the anticipating crowd.

And the crowd tries to catch!

And when it's over, it's time to go home. Better luck next year!

I also shot some video, but it's not edited yet.

I'll post it when it's ready.

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