August 22, 2010

My Trip to the Konbinri

I got off the train last night after two days of train bumbling and realized I was out of both clean clothes AND laundry detergent.  So I went down to the Lawsons 100 across the highway. As I approached I noted a great hue and cry from behind the convenience store and dozens of women in kimonos were heading into an adjoining alley.

The property behind the Lawsons actually opens into the rear of a shrine I had noted earlier while figuring out how to get to the guest house from Yotsugi station.

Last night however it was much livelier and every bit of space was being put to good use.

The pictures are not the best as I disabled the flash on the Blackberry out of courtesy. I was the only westerner present and there was no other flash photography happening, I was also concerned I might dazle the drummers on the tower who were in tight, highly elevated quarters. 

Not pictured..the very loud drum music and singing.

...and the smells of all the fried and shaved ice concessions.

Most everyone in traditional garb danced around the dais in a sort of konga line.

One interesting thing I noted as I left, there is this shed next to the Lawsons with a chrysanthemum emblem and red spinny lights kind of like on a police box, but it is always locked. Last night it was opened and I found out what it was.

It's a little fire station manned by the local VFD, just to deal with the potential of a fire during a shrine festival.
It contains a hand operated fire truck cart.

The moral of the story? ALWAYS bring a camera anywhere you go around here as even a trip to a convenience store can become something really cool....or, as in Lilly's case, something entirely 'other'.

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