Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tenbin Matsuri

I am not sure if this will be a welcome revelation or not but Sunday contained another first for me. Sunday was the day of the Tenbin Matsuri Festival here in Omihachiman. The festivities began around noon. We left the house, Me, Jenny, Logan and Mark, around 11:30 or so. It was a five minute walk from our apartment to the street where the street where the festivities were taking place. But before we went to watch the taiko drummers from my school and the other performers we made a pit stop at the local 7-11. Here is where we get to the first. Jenny got a bottle of water, Logan got a bottle of frozen sports drink and I got a beer. You must understand that here in Japan it is perfectly acceptable to walk down the street drinking a can of beer. So I did. I am pretty sure that it was my first time drinking a beer that early in the day. It was a lot of fun though.

The festival itself was pretty small. The taiko club from my school performed first thing in the morning. Next there was a karate demonstration from the local dojo. It was fun watching all the little kids run through their forms. the cool part was when the teachers showed off their abilities. They broke boards, baseball bats, and one guy even broke a cinder block with his fist. Then there was a junior high school brass band. The local Self Defense Force Brass Band also played. more Beer. Food. And most important; many, many students and teachers from school telling Logan how cute he is. The downtown part of the festival broke up around four in the afternoon. So we headed on home after making plans with our neighbors to all head off together later in the evening to watch the fireworks.

We ran over to the camera shop to purchase a tripod for our camera. I wanted to try and take pictures of the fireworks later in the evening. Then we headed home for some dinner. About 7:00 in the evening we started to gather up the neighbors to walk out near my school to catch a glimpse of the fireworks. Logan took a crazy stroller ride thanks to Miss. Diana. She pushed him all around, in circles and loop the loops, backward and forward. Those two always manage to have fun together. We walked the twenty minutes or so out to my school so that we would have a nice view over the rice fields. On the way I also managed another first. One thing that Jenny and I have always been wary of is falling into the rain gutters that run along the side of the streets here. The are about two feet deep and sometimes covered, and sometimes not. Well as it happens, in the dark of the night I managed to fall into one of the storm drains. I was walking along when all of a sudden the ground under my left foot just was not there. I fell to the ground. Not hurt, but a bit wounded in the pride. I felt awkward and silly. And my shin hurt a little bit from the scrape that ran a good length of the bottom half of my leg. But we managed to find a nice place to set down our tarps and watch the fireworks. I even managed to get a couple of great photos of the fireworks thanks to my new tripod. I was even able to snap a shot of the one that looked like a smiley face. It was a fun day and a great way to cap off a wonderful weekend.


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