Autumn Kites

The weather here in Japan has gone from warm humid summer to down-jacket cold rather quickly.  While Japan is famed for its four seasons, down south where I live things seem to have just two settings, hot and cold.    While it will likely warm up again before settling into the cold creep of winter, the locals are taking advantage of the change in weather.  With north winds blowing strongly, it’s a perfect time for kite flying.

Kites have a long history around the world and especially in Japan.  This past weekend one of the elementary schools here hosted a kite flying competition.  While there are many kinds of kite ‘battles’ this one was mainly just a chance for students and families to gather and enjoy a favorite past-time.  At the end they gave out certificates for those who flew the highest, longest, or the ‘good luck next year’ award for not quite getting off the ground.

Afterward everyone also enjoyed a hot snack courtesy of the teachers and mothers.  Zenzai is a bean dish with mochi that was great on such a cold day.

Checkout more photos and a short video on flickr: