Tag Archives: nedu jinga

Meet Matsu-chan!

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On Saturday, we went to the Nedu Jinga Shrine Annual Festival with a few of the JLSP volunteers we had met during the week. It was held in the late afternoon and was just the thing we needed to help recover from the welcoming party the night before. The setup of the festival reminded me of a traditional county fair and it had a warm and friendly feel to it. It is interesting to be able to find things like this in the middle of Tokyo, a distinct contrast from the high-tech metropolitan districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya!

A stall selling chocolate covered bananas on a stick.

We got another chance to see Sumo wrestling at the festival; despite only involving some of the local amateurs (as opposed to the ‘superstars’ we saw last week), it was still highly entertaining and I was able to get a much better view without paying an extortionate price. The wrestlers were slimmer and moved faster, the fights lasted longer, and best of all, I didn’t have to endure 6 hours of it in a row! I recommend seeing amateur Sumo over one of the big tournaments if you just want a taste of it.

Going in for the kill.

The main event of the day however, was yet to come… Towards the end of the afternoon I was growing tired and my interest in the festival was gradually waning. But then I spotted something in the distance that immediately grabbed my attention and awoken my senses; I knew in my heart that I was not going home today without it. There was a stall that offered the chance to win a [real!] turtle if you could fish three of them out of the small pond using a net made of rice paper. Only in Japan!
Here is a video of my successful attempt [I promise to edit it and add cool music later!]:

You had to be quick to catch the turtles before the rice paper dissolved. I failed my first attempt but gave it another go and was rewarded with a turtle of my own to take home! I named it Matsuri, or Matsu-chan for short, and it now lives in a plastic container on my desk. It has been a week so far and I’m happy to report Matsu-chan is alive and well, happily eating the turtle pellets I bought from the supermarket!

Meet Matsu-chan!

Category: JLSP | Tags: , , , ,