Nov 13, 2013

Tokuda, Sanno, and Senmaida Festivals

Tokuda Matsuri - a festival of food, crafts, and taiko!

At Tokuda Matsuri you could also ride a fire engine's ladder up to the top. I was more than happy to watch from the ground.

Sanno Matsuri

Sanno Jinja, the focal point of the local community. And on this night, the starting point of Sanno Matsuri, the neighborhood festival where a mikoshi (small shrine) is brought to different homes and it's bearers are fed, given lots to drinks, and celebrate the presence of the divine.

A new meaning to the term "truck food," a feast of octopus and noodles.

The children of the neighborhood festival were loaded onto a boat on trailer wheels and pulled through the streets to the sounds of the beating taiko drum.


Senmaida (literally, "one-thousand terraced rice paddies") slope down a green hill full of daisies into the ocean. At the annual light-up, volunteers placed 50,000 candles outlining the rice paddies. It is already beautiful to behold senmaida during the day; seeing it lit up at night was magical.

What you can't "see" in these pictures: the sound of the surf, the flicker of 50,000 flames, the live jazz band over the speakers, the smell of hot udon noodles under the festival food tents, the crowds of people walking down the slope of the paddies towards the ocean. There is always so much more to an experience than we can show or explain.


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