earth celebration sado
So the main reason we went to Sado was for the “Earth Celebration” which is the Kodo Taiko Drummers big bash. There are three nights of big concerts on Shiroyama mountain/hill and the rest of the day there are smaller stages and activities/workshops around town.
There is also the harbour market set up right near the ferry dock and it felt very much like Granville Island to me. Loads of clothing and food stalls serving quite the variety of yummy things from curry to schwarma, turkish ice-cream to organic scones.
The nicest thing really about the market was that it compelled people to share seats and we made many friends sitting round shared tables. (we also met one or two weirdos) We made friends there with Kris and Hailey who live in upper Tochigi. I think they said Otawara, but I can’t remember now. And Seiji who was working parking and security.
About half the people there were other foreigners, then many Japanese visitors to the island, and also a few locals. We also encountered a family (kids, parents, grandparents) eating schwarma and drinking bubble tea. The grandpa was trying to figure out what the bubbles were, asking his son if they were beans or what? Me, never to be shy, interjected with my “wide inter-cultural knowledge” and explained they were tapioca, a bit like konnyaku jelly. Grandpa was lovely and after a few minutes looked at me, leaned across the table and said “I’ve never spoken to a blue-eyed person before.”
We also met a woman in her 80s at a little shop who stopped to tell us she had been wearing kimono, and only kimono for 60 some years. She has never worn western clothes. She had the most amazing pencil drawn eyebrows, a bit like Anpanman.
I ate a WIDE variety of the offerings of the market, but my two most frequent purchases were cucumber with miso dip, and organic scones. The sandwiches were amazing too.
At night/evening, everyone lines up according to a ticketed ordered entrance system (far too complicated to bother with here) at the bottom of the hill in this lovely shrine enclosure, and then it’s a steep climb up to the actual venue. At the top it is first come first serve grab your own spot on the grass but (almost) everyone was very polite and considerate.
The drumming was amazing, and the concession surprisingly reasonable considering not only do they have you trapped inside a concert venue, but also on an island. Yuki kept accusing me of not watching the drumming. I want to defend myself and say I watched MOST of the drumming, the A cappella singers from Italy, not so much. But I don’t need to WATCH singers, I listen to them, while I stare up at the millions of stars in the sky, stars I haven’t seen since I left Vancouver in May–I had some catching up with them to do. Personally I preferred the first concert on the Friday to the others, both because it was less crowded, and because, well, the Italians weren’t there yet. I kind of liked just the drums.
We also visited several of the fringe stages, and on Sunday, Yuki took a flute playing class, and I a basket making class. (that’s right BASKET MAKING. I figure I’ve been in school forever, so it was time)