Sunday, July 10, 2011
Over Golden Week I returned to my old stomping grounds in Ishikawa for a few days to visit old friends and see a few sights I missed when I lived there. The lead event was the Dekayama festival in the city of Nanao. Festivals are always a great time, and this one was no exception.
My tour guide this trip was Travis, one of my oldest and best friends. The festival itself was filled with giant floats, good food, plenty of beer and some great company that all made for a great start to the week.
The floats are the centerpiece of this particular festival, and after an opening dance and blessing they are pulled through the streets by a large team of men. Having helped carry the much smaller portable mikoshi shrines, I can't imagine the massive weight of these huge floats.
That could be why the actual pulling didn't last too long, the floats are more for admiring then moving.
Once the festivities wound down, our large group migrated inside. An old acquaintance had offered up his house for crash space to anybody who needed it. We hung out for a while, playing games, joking and drinking. One of the girls who lived nearby actually knew somebody I know here in Gunma. It really is a small world and the world of us English teachers is even smaller.