As summer draws to a close, summer festivals or natsu-matsuri 夏祭り in Japanese, are a common sight in Japan. I’m not fond of the heat and I’ve always made sure that my trips don’t coincide with the summer season – so I’ve never been to a natsu-matsuri until now, at least. Each year, the Japanese Association in Singapore holds one at its Changi campus, and this year, today, we made our way down to join the thousands of people (not verified, but it certainly felt that way) at the venue.
The festival started at five, and when we reached slightly after, the queue for festival-goers without tickets (us) was already several hundred people long. It moved pretty decently, and everyone – a good half was yukata-clad – was in a merry mood. A slight drizzle fell while we were queuing but it thankfully ceased soon after we entered the festival grounds.
I took my JLPT test a few years ago at the school, but my exploration of the school was limited to the classrooms where the test was held and well, the car park. This time, of course we took the chance to roam around the expansive school grounds. The inner atrium areas were lined with food stalls offering Japanese fare such as takoyaki and mochi (yum). Tables were scattered throughout the school – find one, get a couple cans of beer or milk tea (yay) and several bento boxes and you’ll be set for a dinner party I guess.
A stage for performances ranging from taiko to belly-dancing was set up in the middle of the field. Soccer goalposts, presumably upright in non-festive times, were laid down and served as a good place to stand and lean back and enjoy the performances (and probably to avoid people knocking them down).
We caught a whiff of grass as we entered the field. いい匂いだった。