#47 – Nagasaki Port Festival

Last weekend the Nagasaki Port Festival (Minato Matsuri) was so much fun! Thanks to the kind help of Mrs. Takaki, who you all may remember from my email last year about eating at a sushi restaurant owner’s house. She is that sushi chef’s wife and a super nice lady. Almas and I, along with a few other friends, had dinner at their house again last month and they offered to give us some cool threads to wear at the event!

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From the left: me, Mrs. Takaki, Almas, and Nick. If you look closely you can see the SoftBank Hawks logos on Almas’ yukata.

While we were getting suited up in these yukata, Mrs. Takaki explained that for guys having a bit of a belly makes you look cooler in them. The wide belt accentuates the belly and then you stick a folding fan in the belt as the finishing touch. We had to have her help putting them on since there is some specific way to tie the knot at the back.

We got the yukata in a little western building on the Hollander Slope, then walked over to Seaside Park for the festival. It was busy when we got there but that was nothing compared to the evening when the fireworks were on. The area pictured below looks a little busy, but later that night it was completely congested and nearly impossible to get through.

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Since we were there early, we got right through the line to get some meat on sticks. Here’s what these food stalls look like from the front.

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You tell him which stick you want and then he throws it on the grill for you. On the left is chicken with green onion, the middle is beef, and the right is pork belly. We got one of each. On the left there are buckets of sauce that he’ll dip the skewer in if you want. The cash register is on the right ^^

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Nick enjoying the chicken skewer.
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We also got some lemonade with funny mustaches. As if we didn’t stand out enough already ^^;

We ran into a few other people we knew and ended up grouping up and getting a spot to watch the fireworks. They did fireworks over both days of the festival, 7,000 on the first night, and 3,000 the second night. Despite the smaller number of fireworks, I doubt the crowd was any smaller. Just about every inch of available space was occupied over the expanse of the park. The show was spectacular. Here’s just a snippet of what we got to see.

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Japan really knows how to do fireworks.

This was my first time going to a Japanese festival in Japanese clothes and I didn’t get as many strange looks as I thought I would. But, I still definitely got some, haha. Since there were three of us I think the people around us were happy to see us enjoying the festival more than just through simple attendance. Dressing up made the whole occasion much more memorable. I’m especially happy of that since Nick has finished his time on the JET Programme and is heading back home this month. We’ll miss him a bunch!

Here are some extra photos from this week!

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