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Monday, March 22

Chasing A Festival That Never Was

It would seem that not much has changed in the past four years.  I still misunderstand what I am hearing.

Sunday.  Gorgeous day in the mid 60s.  Sunny.  Only gripe was the crazy wind.  Kimono Peanut and I are playing outside in the morning, attempting to blow bubbles into our nemesis wind.  We keep hearing loudspeakers that sound like they are coming from the center of town.  Since tomorrow is a holiday here, the first day of spring is observed, I figured there must be a festival somewhere close.  I don't really know what they do to celebrate this holiday, but a festival or at least some sort of ritual at a temple or shrine seemed in order, right?

Tiring of stopping KP from playing in the mud, I decided to put him in his stroller and chase down this festival.  We headed in the direction of the temple I was guessing would be the spot, but when we got to the main street, the sounds now seemed to be coming from both directions.  Odd, but I continued in the way I was thinking.  It was only a block and a half later that the sounds started to move towards me.  From both directions.  No, this was no parade.  These were trucks.  Spewing political messages, I'm guessing.  In each sat someone sitting with a bullhorn and spouting all God knows what.
Even though I knew now there was no festival... foiled again by my lacking in the Japanese language... it was such a nice day that there was no reason to continue on to the temple.  Lined at the gate were more people, with flags to compliment their bullhorns this time.  Ignoring them, we moved on.

The temple was quite busy today and it was only until I got home and researched what they do on this holiday did I understand why... they visit graves.  Oh.  Crap.  I didn't let KP go into the graveyard areas, but I do hope no one minded him running around and screaming outside of the temple.

We didn't stay too long, but with the day being nice, despite the treacherous wind knocking KP to the ground more than once, we continued on to the center of town. We passed many, many cars with their bullhorns trumpeting their arrival kilometers before we ever saw them.

In the very center of town, two of those cars had actually set up shop, placing people and flags on every corner as they stood in the middle bullhorning their message away.  It holds little interest to me, so on we went to Ginza street to do some window shopping, passing with only a glance, a little room that the Democratic Party of Japan had set up a little shop-for-the-day to get their candidate's message out there.  Amusing, but Ginza street is more interesting in other ways to me.  I can hardly window shop on that street without getting something.  We came home with an arm full of flowers for me to arrange, rice balls for the family for lunch and sweets shaped like cherry blossoms for my friend who arrives very soon.  Oh, and I couldn't resist some sakura (cherry blossom) mochi.

No festival.  But brilliant for a random kind of day.

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