We are currently in the path of two typhoons! The first is scheduled to arrive Sunday, so today (Saturday) we decided to make the most of our not-yet-rainy weather. We headed out to Shinagawa for their annual festival, which is sortof run-of-the-mill as festival go (food stalls, performing groups, beer, stores and trucks with antiques and gifts.) This is not a very touristy matsuri, so we got stared at like we were a pair of hobgoblins, and the guy Jen tried to buy scallops from (whole, grilled in their shells…. yum!) nearly jumped out of his skin when he noticed he had a gaijin in line. But the highlight was a highschool taiko performance. The video below is one of their three pieces:
These are all freshmen and sophomores in highschool. The guy in front is in charge, and different people played each song (although the guy on the big drum, the girl on the far side, and the genki –basically that means energetic– guy at the front of my shot played all of them I think). I thought they were very good and I loved the song — and they seemed to be having fun. I really like watching taiko, and I hope we can catch more of these performances. The professionals are amazing, but it’s nice to watch this level of performance where it’s still very real and achievable.
Afterward we ventured out to a local temple to daikoku (one of the seven gods of fortune — the one with the sake casks) which was cute, but mobbed with mosquitos. There was an adjoining playground where they had a belly-up panda ride, so naturally I had to take a photo for CJ (our panda-hating friend).
We ended the day at TY Harbor Brewery, at a lovely table overlooking the water, sampling the various brews. Tomorrow we will be battening down the hatches (and maybe running a few damp errands!)