The yamas were beautiful and the food was very tasty, especially a pair of huge pork skewers from one of the yatais. It was great to walk around Inuyama at night and actually see things happening here, because normally it’s pretty dead here. Tomorrow, we’re going the enjoy the second day of the festival in daylight.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Inuyama Matsuri by night
Today was the start of Inuyama’s 374th annual spring festival: Inuyama Matsuri. This festival in Inuyama’s castle town has always been held on the first Saturday and Sunday of April ever since it started in 1634. During this festival thirteen three tiered festival floats (yama), designated as important culture properties by Aichi prefecture, parade through this town.
I had to work today, so I didn’t go to Inuyama castle or the Haritsuna shrine to check the beautiful yamas, but I will tomorrow. Instead I enjoyed the preparations for the night parade, which were happening right in front of our school, for a large part of the afternoon and evening. The streets were very crowded and we had quite an interesting crowd sitting in front of our school.
I kept checking back with the preparations in between classes, and saw the thirteen yamas being decorated with a total 365 lanterns. And when it started to get dark, all the lanterns were individually lit with real fire to create this magnificently beautiful sight.
During my last class Yasu arrived at my school, so after work we immediately joined the party on the streets. By that time all the yama had already left the roundabout in front of our school and were making their way through the busy streets. The streets were lined with hundreds of yatais selling a big variety of delicious snacks, from chocolate covered bananas to fried squid on a stick.