We never really know what is going on until it’s over, and then sometimes, we still don’t know. Ted saw an item on Facebook about a matsuri (festival) over the weekend that was somewhere close to where we live. We don’t know what kind of festival, maybe just a summer festival. We printed the kanji name of where the festival was held and took it to the bus station. In the cities, like Sapporo or Tokyo or Kyoto, things are written in romaji as well as kanji, but in our town, they’re only written in kanji and we’re illiterate. Ted found out from the woman at the information desk that to go to the matsuri location is 420yen each way and the bus leaves from slot 6 in about ½ an hour. He also found out that there are only two remaining buses returning and he found out the times. The return buses would say (in katakana) ta mi na ru (terminal) on the front. We were excited to be on our way! The sun was shining when we got on the bus but it was raining by the time we got to the festival.
It was held in a big parking lot of a community center and reminded me of the summer carnivals in the small town where I grew up, except there were no carnival rides.
Our favorite restaurant, Bombay Blue, was there so we bought food to eat from there.
We watched some kind of children’s competition, where children ran to one of three animals – buta (pig), panda (panda), tora (tiger), then one animal was announced. The children at that animal got to keep going, but the children at the other animals had to first go to the announced animal, then go on. I don’t really know what that was all about.
The musical entertainment was a JPOP group called Fruity, made up of seven young women with fruit names. They were very cute and animated and at one point, they came out into the audience.
Their fan club, the Fruity Army were as entertaining as the singers. They danced and sang and did all the arm movements that the singers did.
When it got close to the time of the last bus, we started asking about the location of the bus stop and no one seemed to know. We knew it was probably on the other side of the street and we did eventually find it and make our way back home. We were very pleased with ourselves for having navigated our illiterate selves to another adventure.