Food and alcohol are undeniably an important part of Karatsu Kunchi. Locals open their houses to family, neighbors, friends, and even strangers to come and spend a little time eating and … Continue reading Karatsu Kunchi: Feasting and House-hopping
Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long for the rain to come. In the week after my first trip to the Ouchi Hydrangea Festival, it rained. By Friday, the rain … Continue reading After the Rain – Ouchi Ajisai Matsuri
After the Sakura finish blooming in early March, you don’t have to wait long for another famous flower to bloom. Early May (AKA Golden Week), is the best time to … Continue reading Wisteria Hysteria: Golden Week
Last week I posted about the Karatsu Hanami on Kagamiyama. This post is all the other Sakura pictures I took during the season – and by that I … Continue reading Zo Many Zakura
That’s right I said sand pull. It’s the only way I can describe what you are about to see
The second day of Karatsu Kunchi begins mid-morning at a large sand lot between an elementary school and a major road. The road has been blocked to make way for the floats and hundreds of spectators who watch the 1-ton structures dash into the loose sand. It doesn’t take long to get stuck. Each team tries to pull their hikiyama as far in as possible. After the initial “pull” the ropes are reversed and the hikiyama is pulled to the far edge to line up with the others. This is a true test of strength
My friends and I were lucky to find an open spot across the street to view the event. The sidewalks were packed with people and those in our group brave enough to venture off found it difficult to move. It took some of us more than 30 minutes to reach our main group. We took turns climbing on a concrete ledge with a fence to get a better view. Most of my pictures were taken this way with someone bracing my legs so I wouldn’t fall over.
After the floats are lined up spectators are allowed to walk onto the field, take pictures with their favorite floats, and find participating family members.
So there you have it! But wait that’s not the end of Day 2! Stay tuned for Karatsu Kunchi Day 2 Part 2 – Feasting and House-Hopping Kunchi-style!
See you next time
It’s finally spring in Kyushu! I am excited to spend my first spring in Japan. I was lucky enough to snap a few pictures of the famous cherry blossoms before … Continue reading A World in Pink: Sakura in Kyushu