“Oh, hi! Long time no see!” How many times did I say that last Sunday? Many times! There was a big festival in Nisshin City, which is next to Nagoya City, on November 12 and 13. I took part in the festival and bumped into many of my friends. I saw lots of interesting things, ate fresh and delicious food, and enjoyed talking to many people there. I really had a wonderful time!
The festival is called “Nisshin Shimin Matsuri” which has Industry Fair, Library Fair, Sports Festival, Health and Wealth Festival, and Cultural Festival, and all of them are held at once in many places on the second Saturday and Sunday of November every year. That’s why, there were huge traffic jams here and there and the pavements were filled with pedestrians in Nisshin during the festival, and I walked and walked that day.
I’m not a citizen in Nisshin, but I have many friends there, and Mitsuko, one of them, informed me that she would perform hula dance in the festival. So, first I went to Nisshin Citizens Hall to see her team’s dance. There were also many cultural exhibitions in the hall, such as ikebana or Japanese flower arranging, bonsai, Japanese calligraphy, and paintings and so on, and I enjoyed the tea ceremony before going to see the dance.
When I entered the dim concert hall, a ladies group was performing a Japanese traditional dance. It was as if I was watching Red and White Singing Contest, which is a Japan’s famous TV show on New Year’s Eve. After the performance, there was another Japanese folk dance by another women’s team. I felt fresh there because I hardly ever have opportunities to see those dances or hear Japan’s old style songs. Actually, I don’t like those things so much, but their performances were really interesting.
With the announcement of a hula dance group name, my friend and other dancers appeared on the stage. Wow! They looked so elegant in beautiful dress. Unfortunately, I don’t know the meanings of their gestures of hula, but I enjoyed watching their gorgeous performance. Mitsuko’s dance with a smile was wonderful.
After the hula dance, I left the hall and I went to the main place for the festival. There were hundreds of stalls in it, which was very busy with many people. You could buy many things: fresh vegetable, sea foods, bread, cake, sake, ramen, hot dogs, stakes, grilled sausages, fruits, ice creams, etc…You could also experience many interesting things: learning fruit carving, making original chopsticks, digging sweet potatoes out from the field, riding combine, studying environment or international exchanges and so on.
I ate takoyaki, fried shrimp dumplings, ramen and grilled oysters at the place. All of them were delicious. Actually, I was interested in a stall from Fukushima, but their goods had been already sold out by the time I arrived. The stall was invited to the festival for Nisshin’s apology to Kawamata-cho in Fukushima this time. The city bought some fireworks from a maker in Kawamata-cho for its summer festival in September, but stopped using their fireworks by fears of the radioactive contamination.
Next day of the summer festival, Nisshin got lots of protests from not only Fukushima but also all over Japan. The mayor flew to Kawamata-cho and Fukushima Prefecture and apologized to them soon. That was the start of inviting the stall from Fukushima to the festival. The mayor in Nisshin must have been relieved to see all of things at the stall were sold out. Anyway, I enjoyed a whole day at the festival and went back home in Nagoya with feeling fulfilled that day.