Purple Kimono in Harajuku and a Matsuri

On this weekend, my friend H from college back in San Diego invited me to his hometown’s summer festival (matsuri).  I had never been to a matsuri before, and decided it would probably be fun to go dressed in traditional Japanese clothing.  I put on my purple kimono that I had gotten from the Dazaifu market near Fukuoka the year before.  Traditionally, you are supposed to wear light weight yukata in the summer, and the heavier silk kimono in the winter, but I was feeling the purple that day, screw the heat.  I was quite early getting ready thanks to 8am classes everyday, and since it was a Sunday, I went to say hi to my friends in Harajuku for a couple of hours.  The photographers there are quite nice, and even though I wasn’t dressed fashionably, they still took pictures for me to remember the occasion.  I never really lived it down though, as after this day one of the photographers decided it would be fun to gift me traditional clothing randomly during my visits sometimes.Most of my photos are still back in Tokyo, and I liked this one, but didn’t get a chance to properly scan it yet.

After a while, H called me and I met him at the station.  When we arrived, I wasn’t expecting anything big, living in the United States we don’t have any street festivals, we only have a summer fair which you have to pay to enter.  This was amazing, the street entrance was decorated with paper lamps and hanging canopies of intricate origami.  There were street stalls lined up on each side, food, sweets, games to play, trinkets to buy.  Of course we had to take in the full experience, so I tried my luck catching gold fish with a paper net, and managed to win a couple!  They told me the trick is to dip and flick the fish into the bowl quickly.

H really wanted to try the baby turtle game, where you have to pick one up inside of a small bowl similar to an ice cream cone that is very loosely attached to a wire.  The moment the bowl gets soggy from the water, it falls right off, so you have to be fast.

There were so many food stalls.  I wanted to try everything, but settled on some buttered baked potatoes, and H wanted me to try their local takoyaki.  It was so delicious I forgot to take a picture of it.  I did manage to take pictures of the food I didn’t eat though.

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