Tanabata /’Bon

hanging tanabata wishes

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Officially it was 102 sweltering degrees on Saturday, but I know that those temps can vary from spot to spot. In the shade it was bearable and it helped to begin the evening with a bowl of shaved ice topped with matcha, red beans & sweetened condensed milk – dessert first.

Later, I moved onto a serving of chirashizushi for sustenance. Even later, that was topped off with dango (generously covered in a sweet soy sauce) and chilled mugicha.

Yukata were the traditional garb of the evening but a friend later told me that she opted out for western clothing as wearing an obi was too much for such a hot day. I can’t say that I blame her. I’m glad some did, though, as that’s one of my favorite things to see at a matsuri. They may not be truly cooling, but their colors and patterns do lift the spirit (at least mine!).

Another favorite is the ‘Bon Odori – folk dancing specific to the Obon festival – danced in a large circle. Then there’s the music – minyo – traditional folk – Tanko Bushi, Tokyo Ondo and one from Kagoshima (was that just happenstance?). In spite of that dreadful heat, 楽しかった・tanoshikatta! It was fun.


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6 Responses to “Tanabata /’Bon”

  1. shiborigirl Says:

    susan- have to say i do miss the shaved ice. melon flavor remains my favorite. haven’t gone to matsuri here yet this year. have had my head buried in work. sounds like the weather was truly trying to duplicate the hot muggy summers of Tokyo!

    • Susan Says:

      Is that what it was trying to do? It nearly succeeded or did – it was “mushi atsui.” Your melon shaved ice sounds yummy! They offered only strawberry & the matcha, but I am rather fond of that green tea. That “mugicha” also hit the spot!

  2. aracne Says:

    I have been to the Tanabata festival orginised by the Japanese community here in Florence. It was fun, I enjoyed the yukatas so full of colour, and some cold matcha tea.

  3. neki rivera Says:

    my patron saint’s day! and to add interest shaved ice!! tamarind syrup was my fave when i was a kid.

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