Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Omikoshi Festival at Joyo

Every year in July, Asahi Nihongo students and staff  join the famous "Omikoshi Festival" in a beautiful town called "Joyo", about 60 kilometres from Fukuoka.

A 御輿 ("Mikoshi") is a portable shrine that is carried during festivals. As expected, our students took part in the action. The biggest (and heaviest) Mikoshi was waiting to be carried through town. Luckily, we were not on our own and received help from some of the nice Joyo locals.

While carrying the Mikoshi, the spectators cheer at you and use water hoses, buckets and even bath tubs to splash you with water. A second set of clothes is highly recommended!

To regain some strength, we had a second lunch at the riverside and went to a nice Onsen on top of a hill. Later on the same day, the townspeople gathered on the huge festival ground to enjoy live music, Taito drummers and dancing. We had the chance to try local specialities, also ice cream and soft-drinks. All money raised during the festival is used to restoration of the town, which heavily suffered from the flood in 2012.

The festival ended with a jaw-dropping 1-hour firework.

Many thanks to the people at Joyo who were very friendly and welcomed us as guests. We spend an unforgettable time. See you next year!

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