The Simpson Journey

Four Simpsons on a journey through life and locations

Tokyo Festivals 8/27

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So this last weekend we did not have any big plans so Saturday we decided to check out some of the happenings around Tokyo. We all rode our bikes for the whole day and probably saved $50 versus riding the bus. There was rain off and on during the day but we were able to avoid it for the most part. The first event we went to was the Super Yosakoi dancing competition with over 100 groups competing. Here is the description from the event:

The original yosakoi dance started life in Kochi in 1954, where it was intended to help revitalise the struggling post-war economy, and Tokyo’s own Super Yosakoi festival has been going for over a decade now. The event sees 100-odd teams of brightly attired dancers trying to outdo each other as they strut their stuff to the rhythm of the naruko – a type of clapper that the people of Kochi originally used to scare birds away from their fields.

Anna bought a naruko that she decorated herself. The dances were very different from one group to the next, sometimes very traditional feeling, others very contemporary with moves stolen from hip hop and other styles. Here are some of the pictures and videos from the event.

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Can you spot crazy Jenny in this one?
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We had some food from the vendors but it was unimpressive. We did not have any locals to help us choose so we picked a place that had people buying food from it and grabbed some sausage on a stick. It was edible but not something I want to eat again with whole peppercorns hidden in the sausage along with big chunks of gristle. At least the beer we washed it down with was good!

Then it was back on our bikes for the 40 minute ride back towards home to the Azabu-Juban Noryo Festival. This place was PACKED and we decided that it would be a good surrogate for the MN State Fair that we are missing right now. We shuffled down the street along with everyone else and sampled lots of different foods from all the vendors. Our favorites were the “smoked cheese”, which was basically a grilled quesadilla with smoked gouda inside, and the beef sausage on a stick – both of these were great! It was raining very lightly but so many people had umbrellas that it was comical. We just donned our raincoats and enjoyed being a little more mobile and having an extra hand free for our drinks or food. The kids got real shaved ice with mango flavoring and they loved that. There is actually a big block of ice that a guy spins to shave into the cups. We also ran into an American family that has a daughter in Anna’s class. Amazing that only 3 days of school so far and the kids are already making some connections. They were dressed in kimonos and have been here for 4 years. I also saw someone from our CrossFit gym and it blows me away when we run into people we know in such a gigantic city with so many people at these kind of events.

Here are the pictures of the festival, including a picture of a pedestrian traffic cop, telling everyone to keep to the left.
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Corn! We think it was lightly seasoned with soy sauce…

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Keep to the left!

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Great work if you made it this far. The video with the guy turning dumpling-like things has a story. On our way out, we saw a huge line for this stall and figured it must be great food, we have to try it!  I waited in line forever and eventually got to the front. They looked to be little pieces of sausage in the middle of cooked batter – what could be better?  I ended up getting two packs for us try have since the line was super long. They were super hot so we biked the 10 minutes home and then opened them. No one liked them. They were super mushy hot balls of something that didn’t even have much of a flavor.  🙁

We are missing the fair big time right now and while we had fun at the festivals, we must have tried all the wrong foods. Someone send us some cheese curds from the Mouth Trap!!! So much of what I ate was underwhelming and super chewy, which is reason #2 why Japanese are so thin:

  1. Just try and get all the rice out of the bottom of a bowl with only chopsticks.
  2. They burn tons of calories just chewing food.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Sounds like a fun day! Those little balls look to me like たこ焼きtakoyaki .. the fried octopus balls. They can be delicious or horrendous! 🙂

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    • Yeah, I think that must be what they were. I was soo wishing they would be delicious but it was very disappointing. Maybe we’ll stick to the deep-fried octopus since the whole family likes that. 🙂

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