Thursday, September 6, 2012

Uenohara Festival Part 4: Fair

The last part of the festival was the fair. It was a nice peaceful end to two days of extreme fun.

The fair was at the biggest Shrine in town, Ushikura ginga. There were tons of booths there, with games, food, and toys. There were tons of people there, our students were really excited to see us, and Ben and I spent most of the night saying hi to teachers and students, and being shown the prizes the students won at the different games.

There was a giant stage at the shrine with singing, first they had a noh-esc performance. Then they had karaoke. Japanese people can actually sing, and karaoke isn’t just absurdly drunk people butchering the most popular songs of the day. Many people sang enka, or other lovely songs. It was surprisingly enjoyable.

I played one game. It’s a fish catching game that is at all fairs and festivals here in Japan. You get a little paper net, and you have to try to scoop up fish, or little toys up with the net. The paper gets really fragile when it’s wet, so you have to be really careful, and really quick. I was only able to scoop up the little toys, the fish were way too hard to catch. It was really fun.
There were lots of food stalls. Japanese fair food is wonderful, it’s still greasy, unhealthy like fair food all over the world, but at fairs in Japan there are actual ingredients, and vegetables in their food, instead of just unidentifiable conglomerations of meat, fat, and whatever else they can sneak in and still call it food. Ben and I had yakitori, yakisoba, miso potatoes, cotton candy, and my favorite, shaved ice.

I’ve mentioned this before, but shaved ice in Japan is amazing. The ice is actually shaved off a giant block, unlike at home where it’s to just be crushed. The ice is fluffy, and delicious, and when the syrup is pour over it, it actually sticks to the ice, and you get fluffy flavored ice all the way through. Sometimes they serve it with ice cream on top, or put sweetened condensed milk on it, both are popular on the green tea flavored shaved ice. My favorite is the blue Hawaiian flavor.
We felt like part of this community, and enjoyed every moment of the festival.

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