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A couple of local kids in traditional Yukata.

They’re at the night festival in our local elementary school yard.
All the cotton candy and treats are paid for by the town.

Of course I was the only foreigner there which made me pretty popular among the locals.

It’s too bad my business is in another town or I would’ve got a lot of new business from this event 😉

If you ever come to Japan, make sure you attend a local Japanese Matsuri festival. And nothing is stopping you from going to many! For a week or two, all over, you can find one happening every night.

If you don’t speak Japanese, not to worry because someone always comes up to you and says “where are you from?” in English. It’s a great chance for them to practice English but I must say, it’s always the same questions! Where are you from? Can you use chopsticks? Can you eat raw fish?

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Budiest priest blessing the Shrine before we carry it around town.

This man went on for 40 minutes at noon time which is really HOT! After he was done I asked someone next to me what did he say? They had no idea! Oh well, I still love Japan!

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Here is a very large Taiko drum. It’s 53 years old and the Japanese people participating in the Matsuri pull it around town in front of the Shrine we carry.

All the guys talked about was the beer party we will have after!

The Kanji you see says our Town’s name.

Once every two months we put our old newspapers in front of the house for pick up.

A volunteer from our community picks the papers up and sells them. That money goes to the town parties like Matsuri.

In the summer we had a BBQ in the country side on someone’s farm and it was all paid for by the town. Of course there was lots of beer.

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Here’s a better photo of the Japanese shrine I helped carry around town.

The house it’s sitting in in our community center which is just a regular looking Japanese house that belongs to the town and is only used for town stuff.

After we carried the Shrine around we ate sushi and drank beer. One beer is fine for me but the Japanese guys around me drank for hours! They love to drink Japanese beer.

Of course I was the only foreigner there and even though I’ve been in Japan now for almost ten years, I’m still popular and made to feel special every time I go
to such gatherings. I’m reminded of this guy once telling me “it’s better to be a big fish in a small pound than a small fish in a big pound.”

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Here is a pic of the Shrine I helped carry around the town I live in. This is to bring good luck to the community as I wrote yesterday. There are different kinds of Matsuri but this one I’m talking about is to bring good luck.

The details of this shrine is intense. You could spend a lot of time just checking them out.

This shrine is 53 years old.

The following is not my community shrine but it’s a good one.

Every ten minutes everyone stops carrying the shrine for a rest. This happens in someone’s driveway within the community. The owner of the house gives the kids soda and snacks. This go, stop, snack, goes on for a 2 hours.