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Fall festival

November 15, 2010

So I went to Tochigi to see the parade float festival which used to happen only ever four years. Now it happens every two.

I thought I had never seen the festival before, but once I was there, I couldn’t remember if I had or not. Isn’t that awful?

I know the floats well enough as I used to do some work at the museum they are housed in. There was a time I could tell you all about their history and symbolism. But not anymore.

The last few times I have visited Tochigi it was been a verifiable ghost town, so it was nice to see so many people there.

Poor thing.

Festival floats and stuff…

Awesome kid. Saw me slinking around taking pictures and totally played to the camera.

So there are few things I liked about this festival (and none of them are academic, historical kind of reasons). I liked it because it wasn’t a summer festival, and the weather was perfect this weekend of wandering around. A little bit of a chill, just enough to convince you you wanted more yummy festival treats. Also, it was crowded and boisterous, but not super crowded, so very little pushing. Unlike the Koenji Awaodori, I could actually see the whole time as I wandered in and out of watching the festival and browsing around town. People are also so friendly out of the city. And it was more of a home grown kind of festival feel: I saw a total of five other foreigners, and 3 were clearly locals. Not that there is anything wrong with foreigners, what I am saying is it was a more local kind of thing than a big tourist destination.

Tochigi has really taken advantage of some of those empty lots to make more festival space. The food area was amazing (post forthcoming)

Some taiko. And more small taiko concerts on the edge of town but the pics are mediocre.

It was a great festival. I thought maybe it was silly when I got there to have gone all the way there when generally festivals wear me out and the crowds overwhelm me. But it was nice. And as I said, busy without being chaotic. Pretty near perfect balance.

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