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01 May 2011 @ 05:17 pm
A bridge too near?  
A couple days ago, softlykarou and I took a bit of time to head down to Iwakuni for the Kintaikyou Matsuri. For those who don't know, 錦帯橋 is a famous bridge that's built in a series of arches over the river, and every spring, Iwakuni has as festival there that, in addition to the standard things you find at Japanese festivals, reenacts the processional of a daimyō returning home. That part was pretty neat, though we didn't stay very long to see much because it was extremely sunny out and neither of us had brought sunscreen.

There were a couple things of interest, though, other than pretty pictures of the bridge. The first was that they had set up kind of a flea market. Now, pretty much every Japanese festival has bunches of 屋台 (yatai, "[food] carts") all over the place, and usually they all look the same from festival to festival (which makes me wonder if there's some standard company that supplies them), but I've never seen much else for sale. This had all kinds of things--pottery, jewelry, clothing, even things like plants and farm tools. If we weren't leaving in a few months and if I didn't think most generic decorations not that great (I really like the spartan nature of traditional Japanese home), we might have bought something. But, we are and I do, so we didn't.

The second thing was that when we were walking through the park named after the town's founder, we heard a band playing a Sousa march. Since Iwakuni has an American military base, both softlykarou and I had the same thought at the same time, but we were wrong. It was a local high school's brass band.
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