Thursday, September 27, 2007
Yukata Gals
So, the day SETY finished, was the Isawa Fireworks Festival. Not as big as the last one, but closer to where I live and me and Tiffany were invited to it by her JTE. We also invited Janet and Natalie to come along as well.

After SETY, the four of us decided to the festival proper style with yukatas and ran over to the nearest departments store. Normally, you get the yukata put on in the store and just go straight to the festival. Because the start of the festival wasn't for a while and we didn't really have on good clothes to wear underneath \it, we decided to put it on later. Janet, having studied tea ceremony at her host families house the last time she was in Japan, said she would help us into them. The lesson we learned: never give yourself only an hour to put on 4 yukatas and then get to a festival. IT AIN'T HAPPENING! So we were a bit late, but called to let the JTE know and she waited for us.

Now, beyond being late, it gets even more awkward. We thought that Tiffany's JTE would pick us up from the train station and then drop us off at the festival and walk around a bit. Apparently this is not how Japanese people operate at festivals. Instead, we were taken to the JTE's house where her family was hosting a party and feed a wonderful assortment of festival foods. Now the problem was that we didn't really tell her about bringing Janet and Natalie cause we thought she could just drop them off, so they ended up joining us for dinner as No one seemed to have a problem with it, and everyone had a good time, but I did feel a little guilty.

Above and beyond the food, were the people. Apparently in our rush to get out the door, our obi weren't tied properly, so one of the older women (who happened to study kimono) retied all of them for us. This worked out well for me because I managed to buy a fancy, long, obi meant for doing fancy double bows.

There were also a bunch of old men there as well, who were quite amused at seeing four gaijin (aka. foreigners) walking about in yukata. They wanted to take pictures with us, and so we did. And a few days after the festival, we go copies of the photos because one of them printed extras for us. It was a super sweet gesture and the photo looks great! If I ever manage to locate a scanner, I'll have to post it.

So, later we head to the actual festival and part ways with the JTE. After standing around and watching some fireworks, we wandered about and found a group of JETs to sit and hang out with. There were a few other girls who showed up in yukatas as well!

After the show, we went back to the JTE's house, ate some more, chatted with her various family members and friends, then headed home. All in all, a great night.

Next Up: Tokyo, Round 2

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