Happy Halloween from Japan!
A kabocha squash made at a local elementary school
It says Happy Halloween!
Kabocha jack-o-lantern totem pole
We have some very busy spiders outside my apartment. They make their webs bigger and bigger everyday and at the moment, they are taking advantage of the warm fall to make their webs bigger then ever. Their webs now cover most of the telephone pole in front of the building. The other day, as I pulled into the apartment parking lot, the light was hitting the webs and they looked gorgeous. I posted different pictures of spiders last year (some of which were taken around my apartment building). Those can be seen here.
A telephone pole that is now property of the spiders.
Sorry I'm not home right now, walking into spiderwebs, so leave a message and I'll call you back...
This year, I was invited to see a local fall festival (秋祭り). It was held in a small neighborhood nestled deep in the mountains. In good weather, this neighborhood is a 20 minutes drive from the nearest store. Once the snow falls, it takes even longer. The festival involved bringing a large object from the elementary school to a local shrine. (The school only has 5 students and will be shut down at the end of the school year.)
On the bottom left is the object that will be transported. The building on the right is the school gymnasium. The blue jacket like things that everyone is wearing are called Happi. They say 祭, or festival, on the back and are a very common sight at any local festival in Japan.
Everyone had interesting outfits for the festival.
I thought this guy was pretty funny. He had a bunch of daikon raddies and he kept grating them in a menacing way throughout the day. He would go up to small children, scare them with his creepy mask, and then hand them a piece of candy. The confusion on their faces was priceless!
It took 15 or 20 men to carry the heavy...thing. (I'm not really sure what to call it...) They had a lot of trouble keeping it steady.
More pictures after the jump (more…)
The autumn fog obscures the Chugoku mountains on an early October morning.
Chugoku mountains when the leaves are just starting to to change color.
Fog over the Chugoku mountains
At a rest stop on the Sea of Japan coast, a love bell sticks out from the ground. It was designed so that 2 people would have to press 2 separate buttons at the same time to make it work. Perhaps it’s supposed to be 2 people in love? But the bell is broken!
Looking out at the Sea of Japan on a sunny day. This place is completely packed on summer afternoons.
The bell. It's particularly good looking if you ask me.
Instructions for how to ring the bell. Looks like you're meant to hold hands while you do it.
The sign says that the bell is broken and will never be fixed because it's too old to be fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience! But why keep a broken bell there as a blight on their beautiful beachfront?