Sunday, August 24, 2008

Matsuri 祭

Matsuri (祭) means festivals and in Japan, there are always some festivals going on celebrating religions, ancestors or local customs. This weekend we attended one of Tokyo’s most popular matsuri in Azabu Juban (麻布十番納涼まつり).

It is basically like a carnival with food and game stalls lining up the streets and thousands of young people showed up to party. Hehe, I guess the young Japanese don’t just work hard, they play hard too.

Girls in yukata walking to the matsuri

Children playing the Taiko drums in front of a shrine

More street performance - a mix of modern and traditional

Now, are you ready for the parade of Japanese street-style food?

Fish on a stick, anyone? Or squid, octopus or any sea creatures?

The famous and healthy okonomiyaki (vegetables, egg, seafood pancake) from Osaka

Another of my favourite Osaka snack – takoyaki (octopus ball)

Can you believe it? I spotted this! This is deep fried spiral potato, the Korean vendors claimed it’s the latest popular snack in Seoul?? People are using BYJ’s image for everything! Interesting enough, this stall also boasted the longest lineup of purely women :)

Across the street, a toppoki stall. No BYJ pictures, no customers, simple business logic!

Ah, I’m thirsty! No problem, there’re ice cold beer, wine and shaved ice, you can mix your own flavours

Pretty cotton candy

OK, now that tummy is happy. Game time! Very popular ‘Goldfish scooping’ using a paper net! Remember this was featured in the US reality show ‘Amazing Race’?

Hehe sorry, don’t know what this is but love the colours and the kid is enjoying it.

Hohoho, this ojiisan is no HRH but soooooo cute oh!

Next .... Bon-odori


Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

Now you are an expert of o-matsuri!
Wow there is even a non-official BYJ shop! The reason of some Korean food stands is the Korean nighborhood and Embassy in this area.

Oh the old man looks familiar to me, he is a famous person as an owner of that Taiyaki-sweet cake shop called Naniwaya.

cloud nine

gosijo said...

Hi Jaime, cloud nine and everyone,

Haha, Jaime, for a minute there, I though I had read your Sunday posting with less than complete attention and missed the picture with the fried spiral potato and So Much More! Thanks for this new entry on yet another festival.

By the way, one of the pics shows a cotton candy stall. The French expression for 'cotton candy' is 'barbe-à-papa', litterally 'daddy's beard'. Funny, no?

Anonymous said...

Oh Yes, I grew up with these kinds of street festivals in Burma, so much fun. There are some food we can only get in these festivals, so we aere looking forward to these festivals for those special food. I still can remember to go to one special soup made with beef tribes, around 1 - 2 am, at the all night traditional dance theatre's food stalls, it was the most delicious soup in that environment with that atmosphere ... hard to explain. I remember we had sleep over with the friends, got up at that wee hour to go there, or sometimes with my parents only, all my brothers and sisters cannot wake up in the middle of the night.
Thanks very much for these postings of Japanese festivals, I really wish I could experience these one day. (If my daughters can get a job there, so we can live there).
How exciting and random, HRH's pictures at the fried potato stall, they really have good business mind. A snack stall with Bae Yong Joon's pictures in Japan ... hello ...
I can imagine, how were you smiling when you see the stall.

P.S. I miss bb, I'm sure she is having fun ....

jaime said...

Oh really coudnine, that old man is a fixture in Azabu Juban? I got to check him next time then, thanks!

jaime said...

hi hi gosijo,

i think the spiral potato is as yummy as Yong Joon. I was just too full to try it. hehe, papa's beard for cotton candy, how cute!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

hi hi yee,

I also thought street festivals are for kids. but kids are conspicuously absent here, more like young people in their 20s! but then, this is downtown tokyo, not exactly kids-friendly (according to my little prince :)

love ... jaime