Springtime in Japan is Festival time. As usual, there are plenty of details about the general way Japanese festivals go on Rurousha's blog. As you'd expect though, all Japanese festivals differ a lot.
In Sendai, the main festival is actually Tanabata (which takes place in August, over my birthday :D), but the second biggest one is Aoba Matsuri. It took place last weekend. It takes place over both Saturday and Sunday and feels really like a British summer carnival.
Unfortunately, both John and I were working on the Saturday, but we went into Sendai after work. We bought some beers, went and watch a few dance performances and played some games. It was fun. Here are some photos. We went on Sunday too, but you'll have to wait for those photographs :)
The floats were put to rest along the pedestrian walkways overnight.
Baton twirlers. They were good, but none of them smiled at all. It was rather depressing!!
Our first time of watching the Sendai Sparrow Dance. More details and a video in the next post!
Performers watching other performers. Because it's such a big scale thing and so many people are involved, there are loads of people just wandering around dressed up in gorgeous costumes.
Japanese fairground game, part 1. Catching goldfish. Keep what you catch.
Pretty wagon, for photo opportunities!
Changing rooms. Bit prettier than the stripy tents that'd be set up back home!
Japanese fairground game part 2. Sumo wrestling cardboard. You hit the table to shake your opponent's character out of the circle. I won because I'm awesome, and because Date Masamune (founder of Sendai) is better than OnePiece character :D