Happy Obon everyone!

The months of July, August, and September are big months for festivals, I’ve noticed. It seems like every weekend there’s a festival to go to. I’ve been rained out of two festivals so far, but I got some good pictures from the Yagibushi festival in Kiryu, Gunma last weekend.

The festival started off hot and humid. The streets of Kiryu were lined with food stalls. Popular items were fried chicken, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, shaved ice, chocolate covered bananas, among others. I tried yakimanjuu, the specialty of gunma. It was kind of like chewy bread on a stick… that’s the only way I can describe it. Every big intersection had a lantern lit platform where people could stand and sing, while on the ground dancers performed in front.

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As it got darker, there were more people gearing up for the dancing portion of the festival.

I ate one of these:

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It was filled with meat and very hot (temperature-wise). Also greasy.

All of the lanterns lit up at night. It was very pretty.

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Then the singing and dancing started! I don’t think you can imagine what it was like from just a description I could give you, but luckily I have a video!

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As you can see, it was very crowded! But fun. And yes, my fellow foreigners and I jumped in and danced too.

That’s one of many festivals in the area. I’m sure I’ll go to some more in September as well, especially the Maebashi Matsuri.

Coming soon: Gunma Orientation.

Thanks for reading!

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