Just two days ago, on November 23, Kume Island held its annual Kuruma Shrimp Festival. The festival is small, but popular with visitors coming from outside of Okinawa for a unique chance to see and taste the prized shrimp (they’re actually prawns but you get the idea). The festival started off with the usual welcoming speeches by the town tourism office, mayor, and shrimp industry representatives. Workers from the four local farms and the Okinawa shrimp cooperative sent the season’s
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This past week I was invited to attend a ceremony commemorating the construction of a new house. Houses are pretty important in Japan. Traditionally, families tend to stay on the same land for generations. With today’s technology, houses are also expected to last a long time. The construction of a new house, then is an important occasion for the family, community, and even the construction crew responsible for its creation. When the concrete settles, an event is held to make
Kyomizu Temple in Kyoto is one of the most famous landmarks in all Japan. The temple is famous for its high-flying construction, built 13 meters above a spring and supported by elaborate heavy wooden beam scaffolding. I was lucky enough to visit a while back and thought I’d share some pictures with you. Its a must see if you’re in the Kansai region of Japan. Find out more on Wikipedia.
This past weekend was the Kumejima Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival. There were many events, but by far the best attended was the Tsumugi Kimono fashion show at the Kumejima Cultural Center (aka museum). One of Kumejima’s many exports are hand-made kimono. These kimono are made from silk that is harvested, spun, dyed, and woven by hand on the island. This year many of the kimono were shown at this special event. Here are a few highlights.
I’ve been posting a lot about sakura , but changing with the seasons really is a big part of Japanese culture. There were so many events last week that its unfortunate the weather didn’t play a better partner. With clouds and rain it was hard to get too many spectacular shots, but the party still went on. I performed with a local band Saturday (technical problems led no video of that, sorry!) there was food and a tea garden, plus