Summertime = Festivals

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August 29th 2009
Published: December 17th 2010
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Port Festival (July 20th)
Summertime is filled with hanabi (firework) festivals in Japan and on July 20th Simon and I geared up in our yukatas and headed out to watch some colorful explosions above the Nagoya Port area. The Hanabi at Nagoya port is supposed to be the biggest fireworks festival of the year in Nagoya. We got there very early to get a good spot and check out the area. Near the aquarium we found a rocking ice cream shop with 32 flavors of ice cream. Some were strange such as edamame (edamame are kind of like peas). When the sun started to go down tons of people crowded along the harbor near the aquarium to watch the display. The show was great and longer than I thought it would be. It was aso really well timed to music. Japan really beats the socks off US fireworks shows. Also there was a street parade at the end of the light show with lantern covered floats.

Osu Cosplay Festival (August 1st)
Simon’s sister came to visit and what better way to introduce her to Japan than taking her to the International Cosplay Parade in Osu? People from several countries all around the globe come all the way to Nagoya to dress up and compete for best dressed weirdo, I mean cosplayer. Also loads of otaku (weirdos) in Japan come out in their own cosplay and join in the fun. Most join the parade, some just watch the parade. Lot’s of people come in their normal clothes to gawk and take photos as well. The whole Osu shopping area was jam packed. I really must applaud the amount of energy and work some people put into their costumes. Especially those who came as robot like creatures, I can’t imagine how many hours it took to construct something like that.

Nagoya castle festival (August 11th)
Simon, his sister and I had plans this day to go to Tokyo; we were up early, 5am, getting packed and ready when the earth started to move. Earthquake! It was nuts to feel the apartment shake, see the walls move, and the lights swaying. No one was hurt and it was brief, seconds really, but felt long. That may have been because I wasn’t breathing during it. It’s not something I’d like to do twice. Unfortunately the epicenter of the earthquake was between Nagoya
Nagoya Castle at NightNagoya Castle at NightNagoya Castle at Night

You can see where they are preparing for the Hommaru.
and Tokyo. All transport was cancelled. We got our bus refund and went back to bed. Later we decided to go to a festival. For a few nights out of the year the city has a dance festival at the castle and opens up Nagoya Castle for night viewing. It was lots of fun and made us forget for a bit that we didn’t make it to Tokyo. ^_^ There were lights, lanterns, food, beer, fish, fun and group dancing that you could join in with (which we did). We weren’t really good at the dancing, but the official dancers seemed to want us to keep going. Probably my favorite part of the event was trying out the feet fish. You put your feet in a bucket full of small fish that nibble the dead skin off your feet. It feels really strange. (Not recommended for ticklish people.) The castle grounds were really beautiful at night and I was excited to learn that Nagoya is going to rebuild the Hommaru (residential palaces). Apparently the originals were supposed to be stunning before they burnt in WWII. Maybe I’ll make it back to Nagoya when they are finished in 2018. LOL.

Nippon Domannaka Festival (August 29th)
In grand yosokoi fashion Nagoya has a dance festival every summer. I love dance festivals, especially when the performers are really into it. Sadly my camera died soon after I first got to the parades. So I took only a couple pictures. I know it’s just a camera, but we had been through a lot together, I was a bit sad. The Nagoya festival is massive with over 20,000 dancers from all corners of the country. There are parades in the streets in Sakae and in front of Nagoya Station. There are also stages through out the city. The whole atmosphere of the festival is pretty awesome, but the enthusiasm of the performers is my favorite part.

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