July 07, 2003

Today is Tanabata, a day honoring the legend of the stars Vega and Altair in the Milky Way. Really it’s just a great excuse for a festival.

A sea of people came to Hiratsuka in Kanagawa Prefecture to wander the streets and look at the decorations.

But it’s not all decorations. There are games, too. Catching bright rubber balls from a swiftly moving stream is very popular with little kids.

Older kids (including me) like the fish game. And MJ is the proud owner of two tiny turtles that she won by scooping them from the water with a monaka, like a cup-shaped ice cream cone that droops when it gets wet.

Mmmm, festival food. This is okonomiyaki a cross between pancake and omelet. My favorite is the choco-banana but I was too busy eating them to get any photos.

Posted by kuri at July 07, 2003 11:02 AM


Great pics! I love okonomiyaki. Osaka is famous for it and there are a lot of site down and grill your own at your table.

Posted by: Dave on July 7, 2003 11:19 AM

That turtle game was hard (; ;) I’m lucky we got sympathy turtles for playing twice…

Posted by: mj on July 7, 2003 12:06 PM

My Chinese colleague told me that this was originally a Chinese legend, and they refer to 7 July as “Chinese Valentine’s Day.” In this version, it always rains on the 7th because the two lovers can only be together once each year, hence many tears cascade down.

Posted by: Michael on July 8, 2003 03:23 PM

Wasn’t one of the lovers a weaver? The milky way is their bridge? It is one of my favorite festivals..

Posted by: Tracey on July 8, 2003 03:46 PM

I just finished reading about Tanabata and the Tanabata Song. I love the pics on your site…they make me feel as if I’m there. (^_^)/~~~

Posted by: Nyota on July 9, 2003 01:06 AM
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