Today we took Trax downtown to the Japan Festival. It was sunny but cool and the festival was very crowded. In 1985 I went to got to Kobe, Japan to play volleyball in the World University Games. We just missed getting a medal by taking 4th place. That was a long time ago and it feels like another lifetime too. There wasn’t much of today’s festival that reminded me of that trip but I’m glad we went.
As we got off Trax about a block from the festival we started to notice the costumes. Some people were dress in traditional Japanese dress. But more common were young people dressed in all kinds of fanciful ways, with cat ears, tails and other kinds of animals. There were a couple of booths about anime so we think that the costumes were from Japanese cartoons. Most of one side of the street were food booths. The other side of the street had booths with merchandise. The most popular items were colorful umbrellas and samurai swords. We saw several dogs including a working dog from CCI (Canine Companions for Independence). The CCI dog was a yellow lab, who showed interest in Yakira but was not distracted by her.They also had an open house at the local Buddhist temple, so we walked around it for a bit.
My favorite thing was a balloon artist. He had this amazing samurai warrior made of balloons on his head. There were also two stages with Japanese entertainment. One on each end of the street. It was too crowded for my comfort so we didn’t stay very long. Yakira didn’t love the crowds but she handled them just fine.