Yanai Umbrella Festival

(2012年11月23日・金) This past Friday was a day off, so I went to Yanai to meet up with my ALT friend, Helena, and attend an umbrella festival! I don’t actually know what the festival is called or what it’s for. I just know that there’s lots of good food, and people dance with umbrellas like these for hours. (Yanai is about 40 mins-1 hour from Waki by train.)

I didn’t realize it until I started writing this, but no wonder I’m tired! Iwakuni Castle on Thursday, Yanai on Friday, birthday on Saturday, work on Sunday, and Miyajima on Monday. When people ask me, “What do you do on the weekends?” I’m never able to come up with an answer, but I think the answers are revealing themselves right now…

The performers’ outfits weren’t changing; it was just one loooooong line of people dancing slowly down the street.

Yanai has this old part of town, too, with traditional-style buildings. I don’t know the person in the front of the photo, but she makes downtown seem like a great place to be! haha

I met up with two of Helena’s friends before she got there, and we wandered down the lefthand side of the street while I searched for something to eat. My problem was that all the food was good, and it was hard to pick something. I did settle on something, though, and we had to walk all the way back to the beginning for it.

It was this:

A hamburger stand??! At a matsuri? I couldn’t believe it, haha. Usually it’s like…fried squid, and takoyaki, and yakiniku…all of which were there, but still!! Of course, I had to buy one, if not only because the huge letters on the sign were decorated in the colors of an American flag hahaha.

The bun was huge and the meat was small (you can’t even really see the meat in this picture, can you?). The meat tasted like a sausage patty, which was a little weird for a hamburger, but all in all it wasn’t too bad. Honestly, it would’ve had to be pretty bad for me not to like it, because it was a HAMBURGER AT A MATSURI! I can’t get over that… (if you read my earlier post, you’ll realize that I’ll try pretty much anything that sells itself as a burger in Japan, just to see what it’s like.)

Iwakuni (just south of Waki) is going to have its new airport open soon, and the grand prize of the raffle held at the end of the festival was two tickets from Iwakuni Airport to Tokyo. The new airport also has a mascot, whose name is そらっぴー/Sorappii. “Sora” means “Sky” and “pii” just makes it into a cute name, I think, but…when you hear it from an English standpoint, it sounds an awful lot like “Slappy.” Slappy the airplane…

I should be nice, though, since I’m taking a plane from that airport to Hokkaido…

Anyway, we discovered that Slappy Sora-pi the airplane made a physical appearance at the raffle, and we all rushed in to get a picture with him. Actually, I think Helena and I rushed the most, and the guys just sort of fell in behind us. (I wanted to show off to all my coworkers that I got a picture with Sora-pi, since Iwakuni’s right next door to us.)

We also met up with another English teacher that day, and had dinner at his house with his wife and daughters. All in all, it was a good day!^^

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