Somewhere around the end of July my boyfriend and me got invited to a matsuri. Matsuri is Japanese for festival. We were told to wear a yukata during the festivities. A yukata is a traditional Japanese garment known as the summer kimono. I never been to a matsuri and never wore a yukata, so it was off to a good start!
We got dressed at a friend’s house and took the train to Kashiwa. First thing I noticed was the amount of people. It was so busy! Every year around 700.000 people visit the matsuri. Kashiwa matsuri is one of the best in Chiba, Japan. No wonder why so many people come to visit.
Along the streets people were selling snacks and refreshments. It caught my eye that majority of the people were wearing yukata too, which is very common during festivals in the summer. Impressive taiko drummers took the crowds attention by beating their drums as loud as they could. On every corner of a street there was something to be seen!
After walking around some more we encountered a nice restaurant. In the front the restaurant they were selling a very interesting drink. They took a grapefruit, poked a hole in it and a machine started mushing the inside of it. When the machine was done they put a straw through the hole. I never had seen this! Of course I wanted to try it out.
So we stood in line and once it was my turn to order the friendly bartender asked me if I wanted regular of sparkling. My mind got blown some more.. Haha. I went for a regular which was tasty!
We sat down at a restaurant not far away from where we got out grapefruit drinks. It was an Italian themed restaurant and had a lot to offer. Together with the group we laughed, told stories and ate until we could no more.
A funny thing I have noticed while in Japan was that Japanese people tend to make funny faces when a picture is to be taken of them. Cute, silly, goofy, angry – it doesn’t matter they just put on one!
Bon odori, 盆踊り
Every region in Japan has a local dance accompanied by different music. Bon odori translates into bon dance and one of those took place at the matsuri. At some point everybody entered the circle and followed how the sweet little ladies moved their arms and legs. Spontaneous thing to do which I enjoyed so much!
Kashiwa Matsuri 2014 Video
The festivities weren’t over yet, but we decided to go back home. We got into our normal clothing and chilled some more. Oh yeah, wearing a yukata wasn’t as hot as I thought. Japanese weather during the summer can be pretty extreme, so I thought I would melt underneath the sun! Luckily I just wore a top underneath the yukata, making it pretty breezy~