Jez's first night at Castaway's!
Jez fording the stream
On Saturday I welcomed some visitors from New Jersey (one was a former JET I had met at the NYC orientations who had lived near Hiroshima). I took them, along with Jez, to the "best of" Yurihonjo, inc. the big buddha, akata waterfall, the tiny statues up the mountainside, and of course, the beach, with some special blueberry ice cream thrown in for good measure. That night Honjo held fireworks at the river, for which I yukata-ed up again. It was cute to see some of my students yukata-ed as well!
Chris gonging at the mountain
The tiny statues up the mountain, used to pray for good luck for children and families
view from the top!
Sunday was once again Kanto time! Despite the drizzle I thoroughly enjoyed watching the men perilously balance the giant lattices of lanterns on their hips, foreheads, etc, while twirling umbrellas, fans, etc. for our entertainment. We were lucky to have some young kanto-balancer apprentices by us at the end of the night's festivities. They were so cute I could totally forgive them for dropping their mini-lantern lattice on my shoulder (thank god our umbrellas were protecting our heads!). Chris filled me on the symbolic meaning of kanto - the lattices represent the rice, with the lanterns as seed pods. They are hoping for hefty harvests with the top heavy stalks. An epic weekend indeed.
Jez making friends with the apprentices