Marugame Castle Festival May 3rd - 4th

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May 3rd 2008
Published: July 28th 2008
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Ika standIka standIka stand

Squid on a stick
Who wouldn’t want to live in a city with its own castle? ^_^ Everyday when I go outside I see it and I smile. Near the end of Golden Week the city holds a festival on the castle grounds on Saturday and Sunday. Primarily the festival consists of stalls selling food and various goods lining every path and street in the area. On the street in front of the castle moat they had a parade during the day and a strange dragon dancing and taiko drumming competition. Two people are in a dragon costume and they make it shake, bounce, twist and turn while the other team members (usually kids) drum out a rhythm on drums. Surprisingly on the castle grounds I saw a salsa band, apparently there is a sizable population of Argentineans in Marugame. Overall the thing I liked best about the event was the food. Festival food in Japan delicious and you can wander the grounds through the crowd and just smell tasty Asian snack food everywhere. Japanese festivals are an enjoyable experience, especially in the more rural areas because you experience more of a traditional local flavor. The festival I went to in Tokyo was just a
The lords of Marugame castleThe lords of Marugame castleThe lords of Marugame castle

A parade of locals in traditional cosplay. Kind of interesting because there was no rhyme or reason to the order, the next person was in a school uniform from WWII. Cool history lesson.
mess of people and you really didn’t get to experience much besides claustrophobia. In August there are many festivals all over Japan. I am really looking foward to it because everyone wears yukata (summer kimonos) and I plan on giving it a try. If only I can figure out out to tie the obi (sash) correctly.....wish me luck with that one. ^_^

Additional photos below
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A festival floatA festival float
A festival float

Each team chants and dances while dragging these down the street. Each team takes it pretty seriously and practices hard to prepare for this.
Chimney sweeps? Chimney sweeps?
Chimney sweeps?

Just kidding, this dance was actually really cool. I need to find a way to load video of it somewhere.

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