Monday, February 27, 2006


Matsuri Report: Kamakura

The little town of Yokote in Akita province holds the Kamakura matsuri every year to honor the water god and to coincide with the lunar new year.

It's a gorgeous festival in which children make "igloos," or kamakura.

Children sit inside with small charcoal burners. They heat amazake and roast mochi and invite visitors to come inside with the phrase: "Haittetanse."

You are allowed to enter the kamakura, though you have to take off your shoes in order to sit on the tatami mats inside. It is surprisingly warm inside the kamakura.

You can also see fields of small kamakura alongside the river, or by the schools. The small igloos are lit up with candles and, as with Setsubun at Kasuga Taisha, it feels like the earth has opened up and revealed a secret property of nature to you.

Amazing photos. What a fantastic time you have had in Japan! :)
Yes, I really did, Taizhu. Maybe some day you'll get to see some of these magical places for yourself. ;-)
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