|The main stage at the Summer Festival in Natsumi, Funabashi Japan|
During the summer break we were able to keep with tradition and go to the Matsuri, (祭り）or festival. The summer nights are hot in Japan and it is often difficult to sleep. But the good thing is that they are cooler than the daytime and in Japan night time young people roam the streets and families often take their children to the neighborhood parks where festivals are held. Many people gather and dress in traditional summer clothes usually Yukata (ゆかた）and Jinbei.（じんべい）
The matsuri festivals have music playing and a large taiko drum on the center stage keeping the beat as the people dance the Bon Odori. Many volunteers help make these festivals possible along with many vendors who sell food, drinks, alcohol, and toys. There are also games for children, prizes, and many other entertaining things to do. The children always enjoy their time at Matsuri. The only problem is that it can get quite expensive $$$!
This video shows the stage and the drummers drumming the beat to the Bon Odori, which is done in a cirlce around the stage. Usually there are official dancers that take the lead for the dance and anybody is free to join along in the circle as the song plays.
Cotton candy is a big seller and of course very exciting for the kids to get too.
We were able to go to the Festival a couple times this year. I will post more photos with another entry later.