Monday, July 28, 2014

june and july wrapup

The rainy season in Japan happens during the months of June and July. Because of this I usually will have nothing posted during these two months because all travel plans are put on hold due to the unrelenting rain. So instead I'll put a wrap up of some events that did happen in the past two months so it doesn't seem like I just sat on my bed, huddled amongst my blankets for the entire time...

It was Ellen's birthday at the end of June. We had a feast of a dinner with cake and ice cream! Delicious. Welcome to the old ladies club :P

mame and I manning the bbq
There was also a work event - a trip to the beach during rainy season... Good planning. It was foggy and grey. Barely anyone swam in the icy freezing waters. Each teacher was in charge of an activity - I got crafts! Made shell magnets and clothes pins on the beach. Most popular event of the day.

Only managed to go to the beach once this summer. Here the gang is unsuccessfully trying to light our sparklers. We finally gave up and approached a family that had constructed a wooden structure around their fire source. Experienced Japanese family FTW! Fireworks are legal here and during the summer you can find them sold everywhere. Also got to test my newly purchased waterproof camera! Manged to get some really good underwater butt shots of people. :D

At the end of July was the Ichinomiya Tanabata Festival. This festival is celebrated around the country and is inspired by the Chinese folklore The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd. There are several variations but the one I grew up with was that there was a heavenly weaver girl who came down from heaven and fell in love with a simple cowherd. Love was forbidden between a heavenly being and a human so they were separated by the Silver River, symbolized by the Milky Way. However once a year a flock of magpies would form a bridge over the "river" and reunite the lovers for one day. Nowadays this festival is celebrating by having children write their wishes on slips of paper.

endless rows of tanabata decorations
alanna and dwight with his prize a blue ball filled with water
I don't get this prize at all. A ball of water - I guess you can smack people with it. Dwight ended up giving it away to a child. How nice.

I suck at festival games. I believe our prizes were some sushi erasers and a keychain. Dwight got the best prize - a balloon attached to a straw. You would blow the balloon up and then released it and it would make these funny noises. He would stand behind people and just let the balloon go and people were always like WTF whats that noise and look all around. So hilarious. He did it next to a cop and behind random girls. We would try to act cool by just hanging around talking while this farty noise was going around us but could not hold a serious face at all. Fun times. The best part of the festival was the bon dancing. We just joined the circle of dancers and followed the leaders on the stage. I freaking love bon dancing! Best way to end the night.