Yokosuka Travel Blog› entry 31 of 37 › view all entries
Yesterday and today I went to a local festival near Jimmuji train station in Zushi. Yesterday was kinda laid back, everyone hanging out, drinking, chit-chatting. There was a little stage with kids singing, a lady with a monkey doing tricks, and a band, as well as a little candy booth for the kiddies (beer booth for the adults of course!). But today was really cool! They took the 2 portable shrines (o-mikoshi) on procession through the street and making pit-stops along the way for several hours. We followed them for a little bit and watched them stop and kick back up again. Everyone was so nice and friendly! They kept offering us water, mochi crackers, gatorade, watermelon... haha, they would leave us alone until we took some! They kept incouraging us to take pictures of this or that, I think they were trying to explain what everything was to us stupid Americans, but I only understand enough Japanese to know "portable shrines," "people," "Watermelon," "take a picture!" and "Eat! eat! please!" They had the kids pulling this cart and carrying one of the little shrines and everyone coming out on the street to watch them by.
**After doing some research (AKA asking my Japanese teacher), this festival was in celebration for the Umi no hi or Ocean/Marine day, to celebrate the oceans and pray for prosperity. The shring in My neighborhood is still on display, and now there are melons and bottles of saki too, so I don't know if it is for the same holiday or for another local festival. Of course, seeing the big melons as offerings, I understand now where all the molen came from!