Summer is winding down here in Osaka. The morning air is crisp and cool, and some trees are already turning yellow and red. A good time to recall the summer. That, and I'm way behind on posting pictures. ^_^
Every summer Kouzu Jinja, "our" neighbourhood shrine, holds a festival. It's fun, so we try to go when we can. I've been there five or six times now, and Ritsuko has of course come here since she was a child. You can go there during the day, but the place really gets going after dark, when people join the festival after work together with their families.
When you enter the shrine area you're supposed to purify yourself by washing your hands in a fount outside. Frankly, most people don't bother during the festival. This boy seemed to find it endlessly amusing, though.
Many young girls dress in summer yukata during festival, which adds to the festival atmosphere. Some men dress in yukata or samue, although it's much less common. I wore a samue this year, and it's really perfect in this climate. The loose, rough-woven cloth is cool and airy in the summer heat. More people should try it.
Summer festivals are for the children as much as for the adults. Kids run around in the shrine area, and the street outside is lined with carnival games, candy, drinks and snack food.
Candied fruit is another great reason to come. Crunchy on the outside, sweet and juicy inside. Just be careful; the hard, sticky candy can easily ruin your teeth.
Festivals are usually sponsored by local companies. And those that become sponsors get a lantern with their name on it hanging along the walkways and stairs. Advertise in style.