This week is Tanabata, the biggest festival in Sendai. Tanabata is a Japan-wide festival, but Sendai has the most famous one. The folk story behind it is from a Chinese story, and varies across Japan, but there's a cute kids version here. If it's raining on tanabata, the lovers can't meet and have to wait another year. It takes place on the 7th of July in most of Japan, but the 7th of August in Sendai. It was throwing it down with rain on the 7th July, so I'm sure Altair and Vega are anxiously watching the weather forecast for tomorrow! On Tanabata, you're supposed to write your wishes for the next year on a piece of paper, then hang it from a bamboo branch. Sendai also has lots of Sendai specific decorations. More about those tomorrow!
On the 5th, there are fireworks to celebrate the start of the festival. Along with what felt like the whole population of Sendai, we headed down to watch them. Lots of people dress up in Yukata (casual, summer kimono), and who were we to refuse?! It was insanely hot, and as someone who's only used to fireworks in November, it felt rather odd to be watching them in the heat! It was a lot of fun though!
Getting our Japanese friends to help us out!
We had to go to our friend Shoko's house to get her mother to sort us out!
Hurrah, we got there!
Walking to the park through the tanabata decorations.
A small park with lots of trees is not where I'd choose to hold a major fireworks festival, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves!
It was really really hot, hence the shiny faces!
Starting fireworks in the daylight. Another strange decision!
Smiley face fireworks :)