In Hakata Dontaku Festival, beautiful women and cute children were mainly in the spotlight. But men's powerful performance was also nice. Although it might not be powerful, but traditional Hyottoko performance was interesting. I only stayed their for on hour (the parade lasted 5 hours), I was happy to feel vibrant atmosphere of Fukuoka (Hakata) city.
Hakata Dontaku Festival started today. This festival is the Japan's largest citizens' festival with a history of 830 years. Today's news said that 680 groups with 31,000 people joined the festival to dance in streets. About 2,100,000 people were predicted to visit Fukuoka for seeing the festival. In this festival, dancers dance with rice paddles. The origin is said that women in shops heard music of the festival when they were cooking, and run out to streets with rice paddles to join the festival.
I saw Koinobori in Umino nakamichi seaside park. Koinobori means "carp streamer" in Japanese. Koinobori traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Tango no Sekku, a traditional calendrical event which is now designated a National holiday, Children's Day (May 5).
Last night, I went to a concert of Inazuma-sentai, which is a Japanese rock band. Their music and also the concert venue was very hot. The vocal said "Now we feel guilty for just laughing in Tokyo. I thought what I can do as a rock 'n' roller, and realized that I only can make audience smile. I'm really glad that I can see your smiles. Smile will be an energy to go further."
When I was in the US, one of my coworker passed away. At that time, one of my friend, she was probably 80 years old or so, said that we should smile to live. If we remember her in our heart, she never die and live with us." I think that it is important to smile for going further. Thanks Inazuma-sentai.
Today, I went to Tanjin, Fukuoka. When I was passing by Mistukoshi, suddenly Taiko performance started. I was so lucky, I was there just the time. I enjoyed their powerful musical performance from the beginning to the last. All members looked so cool. Name of the group is "Toyo-no-kuni, Yuhuin, Genryudaiko". Thanks to the all members for giving us such a wonderful time.
The end-year party at last night was held in Tanjin (Daimyou), I used Tenjin station and walked to the restaurant. During the way, I walked through Shinten-cho. I took the above photo at the Shinten-cho. When I passed by, I saw artificial snowfall. Small kids were excited by the snow :-)
Last night, I had a time to see illumination at Ohori Koen before I went to an end-year party. This time, I was able to take a picture of the main tree from the best spot (Last time, the main tree light was turned off before I reached the spot). This event is supported by so many local governments, Fukuoka art museum, schools, TV companies, news paper publishers, and even by Fukuoka prefecture and Fukuoka city. I really appreciate their efforts. Reflections of trees on the water was so beautiful.
From tonight, Christmas illumination at Ohori Koen started. Since this event started this year, I'm so lucky to see it. This event will be held from today to 26th, 18:00-22:00. Tonight, I went back to my apartment at 21:40 and was able to see it little bit. But I was not able to reach the best spot to see it. Although I won't be able to see it tomorrow because of an year-end party, I'll try to take more beautiful pictures by 26th. It was snowing day before yesterday and yesterday. Since I don't like cold weather, I had been little bit depressed. But this illumination made me cheer up a bit :-)
I went to see Sumo matches, which are now held in Fukuoka, with guests from foreign overseas countries for the first time in my life after the international symposium. Because I'm not so familiar with Sumo, it was little tough for me to explain what is Sumo to foreign visitors. But it was a very good experience for me to watch Sumo.
I went to see the 2010 Saga International Balloon Fiesta (11/2-11/7). Tomorrow will be the last day. It took about 1.5 hour from Fukuoka to the place using trains. The first game starts at 7:00am and finish at 9:00am. The second game start at 15:00pm and finish at 17:00pm. Today, I saw the second game. Second game is often canceled, because of wind. Today, I was lucky. The game started withour any trouble, and I enjoyed balloons frying in the beautiful sky at sunset. I didn't know, but there are many games using balloon. Today's one was Gordon Bennet Memorial (GBM). Pilots start to fly outside of the competition venue and drop a sandbag to a mark in the venue.
<おまけ> 駅長のタマのラッピング電車が「バルーンさが」駅に停まっているのを発見！いっしゅんタマがどこにいるのか分からなくなってしまいましたが、タマのいる貴志駅は和歌山県ですね。タマ駅長は口蹄疫で被害の大きかった宮崎を応援しているみたいです！JR九州の粋な計らいです。 I saw a cute train (go through Miyazaki) decorated by cartoons of a famous cat named Tama, who is a station manager of Kishi station at Wakayama. Since Miyazaki in Kyushu was suffered by foot-and-mouth disease this spring, Tama is now cheering Miyazaki up by recommending to go to Miyazaki.