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.