Monday, August 4, 2008

weekend of jerseyites and yukatas

Well, the Honjo High School baseball team just lost their final game - they had made it to national-level competition and we watched the entire game in the teachers' room as the highlight of today's day of "work", sad frowns forming on everyone's face watching the evil Naruto High School's players with smug grins on the screen. It was also especially sad for me knowing that Edel was there at the game (which took place down near Osaka at Koshien stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers play) and will be leaving the country on Wednesday! I've enjoyed the baseball season here, with all the fanfare and cheering, watching my own school's team and later Doug's school's (who fared better than mine in the regional competitions), and now following Honjo HS's. Anyway, I've had a fairly productive day, mostly working on a new english bulletin board for the school - the subject of which being Tintin, after a highly productive weekend.

On Friday was a local Honjo dance festival, the Shoubu (iris) Carnival. This was my first event I was experiencing for the 2nd time around - it was fun to show our new kohai in town, Jez, a night of the usual festival debauchery, inevitably followed by karaoke at Castaway's. It was also my first night to wear my new yukata!

Amelie, her visiting friend Julie, and me!

A weirdly lit shot of me and Amelie with some of my supercute higashi chu girls

Amelie, me and Satomi, from our rowing team! Satomi was an official dancer at the festival - check out her iris yukata!

Jez's first night at Castaway's!

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!

Jez fording the stream

The gorgeous akata-no-taki

Dan, Chris, and Jez

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!

at the beach...

honjo hanabi!

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


Jesse said...

would it be possible to give me the year's schedule of ice cream flavors in honjo? From it I will plan my next trip there. I will enjoy sweet potato and kabocha, and probably anything else, except rose.

sophiesaffron said...

the blueberry was from a different place than the lavender! Although lavender is out of season now, I wonder if they switched it up to, what, sunflower? what would himawari-flavored even taste like?