Aug 1, 2019

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival

Gallery - Kumagaya Uchiwa festival

Some part of me doesn't get it. Summer is miserably hot and humid. Why does anyone want to go outside and gather together with a whole bunch of other people you don't know just to eat unhealthy foods that are hard to eat standing up.Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photo

But that is exactly what I look forward to every year. Despite the heat, I love going out to summer festivals.

Nearly every weekend from the start of July there are festivals going on somewhere in Japan. Most of the time they are just in a small town with one street of vendors and a ton of events put on by local communities. However, finding information about the larger festivals is pretty easy. All I had to do was spend a small amount of time around my Japanese friends and I was invited to several different festivals in our area.

Unfortunately, my town's festival was canceled because of the coming typhoon, but I was lucky enough to go on Monday to Kumagaya's Uchiwa festival. It is called the Uchiwa Festival because a lot of businesses hand out uchiwa, the plastic flat fans, as advertisements. But in the summer heat, they are fantastic to swirl the humid air around while walking through the festival. Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photo

I took a bus with a friend who had never been to a festival before and walked around in the afternoon for a few hours. Even though I felt that we had to leave a little too early because I had other plans, I think we were able to do all the type of things a festival calls for.

The biggest one being the food. My son pigged out on baby castella.

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photoBefore I even bought a bag of them, the vendor gave him a handful for free. Then his little cute begging butt received even more from a random family because he was making googly eyes at their bag of cake balls.  

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photo

I thought about getting these, but my son was sad to see the fish.

We pigged out on everything from chocolate bananas which are not my favorite because the chocolate is kinda gross, to the recent cheese dog craze. It must be pretty loved because usually the fad stalls don't come back the next year. However, there are definitely more cheese dog stalls than last year.Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photoDeep-fried cheese on a stick. How can you go wrong?  

And of course we played games. My son really wanted to get the floating balls, but I saved my money for goldfish scooping.

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photo

We had a choice between playing twice and not keeping the fish, or playing once and even if we didn't catch any we could get two in a bag to take home.  Just playing the game is fun but I wanted to keep the fish. 

This festival also had something I haven't seen before ...

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photo

... a haunted house!

It was so cheesy and wonderful! My son froze to the spot and stared at his snowcone when he saw the scary "aliens". They were actually yokai, Japanese spirits. 

And of course,

... the floats with musicians playing the typical loud festival music roamed the streets.

Kumagaya Uchiwa Festival photo

I am hoping to go to more festivals this year. Mostly because I want jagabatta------!!



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too