It’s Festival Time
The Oiden Festival is held on the last weekend of July and each year locals from far and wide brave the summer heat, making their way in to the city to sing, dance, ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at fireworks and soak up a bit of atmosphere. From Saturday afternoon teams parade through the city singing and dancing to the Oiden song. Crowds line the streets, fanning themselves in an attempt to seek some relief from the heat. From their street side stalls vendors offer cold beer and snacks such as chilled cucumbers and edamame beans, rolled egg, hot potato fries, grilled corn and yakisoba noodles.
After a couple of hours of enjoying the festival, we decided it was time to get out of the heat and away from the repetitive Oiden song. Seriously, imagine listening to the same song for two hours – it does drive you a bit mad! We battled the crowds and made our way to a local favourite where two seats at the counter had our names on them! Without even looking at the menu we ordered a couple of cold drinks, some chicken wings, a sizzling plate of gyoza and a salad. And feeling somewhat inspired by the stalls outside, my husband added a plate of fried potatoes to our order.
Sunday is a slightly different affair. No singing, no dancing, just fireworks. Two hours of fireworks! We were lucky enough to attend a barbecue at a friend’s place with money-can’t-buy views of the fireworks display. Spicy marinated chicken and cobs of corn were cooked up over the coals while we waited for the show to begin. And what a show it was! Fireworks are tricky to capture in words or photos– you really have to be there to get the whole experience – but I have included a couple of snaps just to give you an idea.