Thursday, July 17, 2014

Izuro Douri Event




I started taking the Japanese conversation and culture (nihongo kyoushitsu) classes at the international volunteer center again. I'd attended them back a couple years ago, but then some of the English classes I teach conflicted with the hours of the kyoushitsu so I had to stop going for a while. The classes are either Tuesday mornings or Thursday evenings (6:30-8 PM). The Thursday classes are broken up into two groups, one for beginners and the other for intermediate speakers, and are 10 lessons for 1,000 yen ($10 USD) total. One of the other students is a guy from Oklahoma, married to a Japanese woman whose father owns a bakery and restaurant at the east end of Tenmonkan, on the opposite side of Izuro street, next to the point where the street car turns onto Tram street. The American's been working as a baker making a Japanese style steamed bread/cake. One night, he mentioned that the other shop owners on that block were going to put on a small matsuri on July 12th. That was a Saturday, and I had classes between 1-3 PM and 6:30-8 PM.



Since the school I teach at is next to City Hall, which is 4-5 blocks from Tram Street, on Izuro Street, it was a simple decision to swing by at 3 PM on my way home during the break. Unfortunately, all the tables were wrapped up tight with tarps in anticipation of a big rain storm, and since there was no one there to ask what was going on, I just kept walking.



That night, after the last class, I tried visiting the spot again just on a whim. This time, the booths were open and a small crowd filled the tables and chairs to eat and listen to people singing Enka on a small stage.



I found the American working one of the booths, making yaki soba. We started talking, and the next thing I know, some of the other merchants were giving me a free package of yaki soba (worth 300 yen), and beer. So, yes, it was a good event. It was scheduled to run until 10 PM, but the workers started packing things up at 9:30, and I returned home shortly after that.



The matsuri was in honor of the local shrine located on the corner.

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