|Origami decorations which line the streets of Sendai during the Tanabata Festival in August.|
|One of the lit-up floats from Aomori's Nebuta Festival in August. Photo from Wikipedia.|
I was pretty excited about the opportunity to see parts of all six festivals, especially Nebuta which is held pretty far north of here and a little difficult to get to. My friends and I decided the festival was also a great opportunity to dress up in yukata, or cotton kimono which are typically worn in the summer. We got all dressed up and headed downtown for the event.
|Yukata, cotton kimono, are popular at summer festivals. They're cute, but hot in over 30 degree weather!|
|That is the closest I got to one of the Nebuta floats.|
The festival was a big disappointment, especially for those people who came up to Sendai from other parts of Japan just for the event. The next day the mayor of Sendai actually apologized for the mess in the newspaper. According to the mayor, only 80,000 people were expected to come but the actual turn-out was 130,000. The location chosen was much too small for such a big event; I can't imagine it would have been comfortable even with just the expected 80,000.
I appreciate the "support Tohoku" events and I think bringing tourists into the area is a great idea, but I do wish that those events would be a little better organized. Sendai's next big festival, Tanabata, is coming up in just a couple weeks from now, so let's hope that one goes more smoothly.