It’s November already?!
The trees here are starting to change colors… Whenever I go out on my morning jog, I notice patches of yellow, orange, and red hues all along the mountain sides. It’s really pretty… Hopefully we’ll be able to get some pictures of the kouyou (autumn foliage) before they disappear.
There are two national holidays this month: the first being Culture Day and the second being Kinrou Kansha no Hi, or Labor Thanksgiving Day. Today, I’ll be talking about Culture Day which occurred earlier this month.
Culture Day was on the 3rd of this month, on a Thursday. It was only a one day holiday (Japan, why do you do this?!) so I still had to attend work the next day. It all wasn’t too bad though. That following weekend was my high school’s culture festival.
Our village held their 36th annual Bunkasai or Culture Festival for three days. Although the first two days were more so for looking at displays, the last day (which was appropriately on Culture Day) had many food stalls and performances. We were super excited for the food.
I’ll give you a list of what I can remember food wise…
- Ringo ame (Candy apples) along with other candied fruits like strawberries, grapes, oranges…
- Roasted chestnuts
- JUMBO takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings)
- Taiyaki (fish-shaped cake filled with red bean paste or custard)
- Baby Castella (mini Japanese sponge cake)
On the otherside of the area were local food stalls serving foods like…
- Karaage (amazing Japanese fried chicken)
- Cha-han (fried rice)
- Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken (that were sold out before we got there! 😦 )
- Ochazuke (soup dish combining steamed rice and green tea)
- Zenzai (Red bean soup with mochi)
You have no idea how much I just wanted to buy everything and eat it…
I went for takoyaki, ochazuke (treated to me by a dear neighbor who was running the stall), and a piece of fried bread we bought at the stand that sold Jamaican food. I don’t know what it was called but I thought it was really good- I love carby foods and this tasted almost like the outside of a corn dog… yummy!! Trevor bought two cups of freshly fried karaage… and bought two more to bring home 😉
I also bought an ichigo ame (candied strawberries) and having it for the first time, found it difficult to eat… The candy shell was extremely thin and when I bit into it, I felt a lot of sharp edges… something that I haven’t been able to overcome since I cut my tongue eating hard candy a couple weeks beforehand. The inside of it however was soft and warm… the vendor must make them fresh.
We then went inside to look at the displays. Clubs and schools from all around the village contributed their work to be put up and viewed by locals and tourists alike. It was amazing to see how talented everyone is.
I think one of our favorite displays was Gojira Oji-san. As his name suggests, he is an avid Gojira (Gozilla) fan and collects Gojira figurines. He was even wearing a Gojira kigurumi! He beckoned at us and said that one of his Gojira figures (a huge one!) can move via remote control. Seeing Gojira move and roar made me wonder if such a toy was used in the older movies…
If you didn’t know already, I joined my high school’s flower arrangement club this year! This year was my first time participating in a group piece that would be displayed here and at the high school’s culture festival!
My flower arrangement teacher worked really hard to create the framework of this piece and went as far as to having someone cut and bring in real bamboo stalks for us to use! I think the final piece looks awesome- I feel very lucky to be a part of this club ❤
Our village is small, so while there wasn’t much, it was still a wonderful event for us to attend. I loved seeing everyone’s displays and I loved getting another chance to chow down on festival food. I wonder why we didn’t come last year? 😦
Thanksgiving will be coming up soon this month! We’re not too huge on Thanksgiving dinner… but maybe I should make apple pie? Hmm…
Wishing everyone a Happy November! I hope you get to see beautiful autumn foliage wherever you are!