Maebashi Tanabata Festival

Yesterday, Yusuke and I took the bus into Maebashi for the Tanabata Festival.  Tanabata is a celebration of two star-crossed lovers who get to meet in the sky for just one night per year.  Maebashi lets the festival run for three days, so yesterday was the last day.  It was really crowded and ran across quite a few streets in the city.  Most of the stands were food stands though, which Yusuke informed me were being staffed by Yakuza (Japanese mafia). 

At 2p.m. there was a Danbe Dance Show.  Danbe is the traditional dance of Maebashi city.  It’s really easy and cheesy, but quite fun to watch.  There were hundreds of dancers, all from different clubs with their different outfits.  We sat in the rain with our umbrella and watched the mostly old women and children twirling about and clacking their maracas type things.  We were all given balloons to hold before the performance, and then they told us to let them all go and it looked really pretty with all the balloons flying into the air.  The rain started getting heavier and there were dragonflies flying all over the place.  We walked around the flea market for a while, which was a bit rubbish, and came across a Hush Puppies shop.  Yusuke said that the shoemaker in that shop makes “tailor-made” shoes.  It costs about 200,000 to make the mould and the first pair (about 1000 pounds) and then after that, about 50,000 per pair (about 300 pounds), so I think I’ll give that a miss, but I though it was unusual just the same.

We took the bus back at around 6 o’clock feeling exhausted.  I woke up at 2a.m. to the horrible sound of a mosquito buzzing around my ear.  It had got me on my wrist and now (at lunch time the next day), my wrist is swollen all the way to my fingers..

I woke Yusuke up and saw the mosquito by his head and he just slapped it and left a bloody mark on his head.  How gross!  But we won!  We beat the mosquito!  I could sleep for another six hours until the pneumatic drill started again…

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