24 September 2016

Reminiscing Summer // Festivals

Three months of summer holiday's going to be over very soon. Whoa! It's obviously freaking long, but kind of short as well. Within that long but short school hiatus, I trained myself to juggle between weekly study group (and all of its assignments) + completing research plan + self studying for Master's entrance exam (this one only intensely started lately tho), + yet still making time for some exhibitions hopping (with Pixar Exhibition at Harajuku became the latest one). So yeah, it's pretty much jam-packed with serious stuffs, but I'm content with what I've been through. 

However, still, I'm trapped in that lust to get out of Tokyo for a little while, like away on a trip to Dinosaur Museum in Fukui, and then proceed to the 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa, or even flying further to Shikoku Island for Setouchi Trienalle in Naoshima... these activities have been waiting to be ticked from my Japan travel bucket list, but again, the timing still not allows. 

Hence, instead of lamenting my incapability to travel far, I guess it's wise enough to reminisce some of the happy memories I had earlier this summer holiday. Exactly when the day was longer and the humidity was unbearable. 

Chofu Asagao Festival
Sunday, July 3rd 2016

I remember participating in this festival just one day before the final exam week. Hahaha. Went here with my best girls, Afrin and Freezy. They're just the finest, craziest best friend you could ever ask for! As long as I remember, we decided to postpone writing our essays and prioritized this festival instead. 

Yeay, for world without stranger! This friendly Ojiichan (grandpa) greeted me in English, "How are you?" all of a sudden, with a supper energetic voice tone ever :D What a lovely occurrence to remember. Hope you always be healthy, happy and prosperous, dearest Ojiichan! 

So you know, one of the blessings living in Japan as a foreign student is that, the abundant opportunity to get invited to various events. And of course, not to mention a cultural event like this. With the permission from universities, organizers of such event will stick a poster or leave a pile of leaflet, advertising their events. Not just informing about when, where and what the event is about, but they will also offer a value-added activity that is specifically planned/targeted for foreign students. 

As for this festival, the organizer offered an experience of walking around in a local summer festival in yukata (summer kimono). Moreover, it came in a cheap deal: 500 yen! Well, if you're lucky enough, you can get the exactly same experience hosted by other organizer for free, but I guess 500 yen is still very very affordable! Because, if you do rent yukata in a famous tourist spot like Asakusa or Kamakura, they might charge you around 2000 yen or even more. So, by joining this kind of cultural exchange events, you can experience Japanese culture in a more economical way, haha.

Dancing together with a traditional female dance group! I just love how vibrant the colors turned out in this picture! Looking so summer <3

Wearing yukata in my favorite color: Blue! Pairing it with a bright yellow obi and a splash of red to make it more festive!

Paying a visit to a shrine. As you can see, I didn't come to this festival with Afrin and Freezy only. But also with other foreign students from different universities.

See those colorful paper decorations above? Those are for the celebration of Tanabata Matsuri or also known as the Star Festival. Summer is indeed the season of festivals! Aside from it being very humid and hot, I love how lively summer in Japan has to offer; festivals and firework competitions.
  
Here's my pose that was once I uploaded on instagram, meaning that I was ready to face the wicked final week. Ahaha.

Nishi Chofu Summer Festival
Sunday, July 24th 2016

This is another festival held around two weeks after the former one. This one took place in Nishi Chofu area and was held in a smaller scope. The festival itself didn't make any advertisement, since it was only targeting people living in Nishi Chofu neighborhood. But, Afrin and I managed to know about it from a kind uncle that we met at the Asagao Festival.

Hahaha, so Japan right? Power ranger sort of thing, appeared live in a show called the V-Mask Show!
I was literally jumping out of surprised when that fish monster came out, as it looked terrifying in real life, I swear.

Haha apparently kids love this show so much! xD

Enjoying kakigoori or shaved ice

Say "konnichiwa" to my new friend, Luna-chan, guys! Luna-chan cried when the fish monster from the V-show appeared. Poor, Luna-chan :(

 
Long time no cotton candy!

Even though not as packed as the Asagao Festival, Afrin and I had a really good and laid-back time at Nishi Chofu Festival. Spending an hour and a half, munching festival's sweets while enjoying various shows. Fyi, we were the only foreigners in this event xD

Done with the festival, we then having a pleasant time strolling Nishi Chofu neat and lovely neighborhood!

Oh! did I forget to tell you? That  you can get uchiwa (a round fan) for free during summer. You can get it anywhere, like literally anywhere! There was one day I got two uchiwas at the same time xD Usually they stick some advertisements on the uchiwa.


So, yeah, that was one of my summer highlights for this year. Anyway, 10 days left till normal uni life starts again. Mixed feelings. 

Hope you guys enjoy this post! ;)

xx,


Shabrina

p.s.:
Somehow, I miss the earsplitting chirp of cicadas, the natural background music for summer in Japan. But I'm so excited for Autumn as well! Seasonal dilemma? :p

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