Festivals and Donuts

My weekend began very abruptly to the sound of obnoxiously loud noises coming through my open sliding door around 10:00 in the morning. As I later discovered, they were coming from the local Shinto Shrine sitting at the base of Mt. Yashima. It turns out that last weekend played host to the annual Aki Matsuri, the Fall Festival. The Aki Matsuri takes place once a year, in the fall, as the name suggests. From what I was told when we visited the shrine on Saturday night, that day was just practice for the next day, when the real festival would take place. I believe the purpose of the fall festival is somewhat similar to the American holiday, Thanksgiving, where you give thanks for that year’s harvest and prosperity and to pray for next year’s. I didn’t go to the actual festival on Sunday but I got an idea of what it was about that night on Saturday.

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Some of those are my friend’s pictures because, since he left for the festival practice earlier than I did, he was able to get inside the building and get those close-ups! Eventually, during the dragon dance, the drums and gongs got to be a little too much for me, so we left and went back to the dorm to play some table-tennis!

The festival practice was beautiful and the sense of community was strong! That is what I gather is the real point of the festival because the next day, when Felix and I went for a run along the river that flows past our dormitory, we passed numerous people already out and about in the small town. Most of them were congregated around large rolling “floats.” I use floats for lack of better term but that may actually be what it’s called. They have two wheels to roll upon and straddled between the two long, thick poles that sit upon the wheels (former trees with the bark shaved off), is a little hut that houses a drum that two young ones will sit and hit while the float is rolled to and from the shrine. So as we were running we passed many of these that were on their way to the shrine. From what I understand, these floats are very expensive and are usually paid for by the community, and anyone who contributes money for the float gets special uniforms and gets to participate in the festival every year.

Here is the river we ran along.

The view from my room’s balcony, looking east.

…looking west.

After a long run and a nice, cold shower, we gather the troops for a nice trip to my new favorite, recently deemed, weekly Sunday brunch tradition at Mister Donut for donuts and coffee!

Thanks to Dave @ Ogijima for the donut picture! I forgot to take one myself. This happens to be the same Mister Donut that I like to patron.

The selection made by Felix and I to share!

I’m definitely looking forward to Sunday’s now!


8 thoughts on “Festivals and Donuts

  1. Hi Dan,
    We continue to enjoy your regular blogs. It seems like your whole life is one long, unending social function.

  2. Hi Dan,
    I continue reading your blog. It’s always interesting to see a newcomer’s perspective, reminds me of my first time in town a few years ago.
    However, I’m quite surprised to find one of my pictures on your blog (the donuts). I take it that you’re new to blogging, so allow me to remind you of a few rules when it comes to using other people’s pictures on the web.
    First and foremost, no hotlinking. That’s a big no-no.
    Then, when you want to use a picture that you found on Google, remember that Google Images is not a bank of images free to use by anyone. You need to go to the website that hosts the picture, and see what rules they have about using their material. In my case, I’m ok with it as they’re under Creative Commons licence, but it doesn’t mean that anything goes either (in short, no modification, no monetization and always mentioning the source with a backlink included).
    Thanks for your understanding. If you need more advice, do not hesitate to e-mail me.

    Oh and by the way, the “floats” are called Taikodai.

  3. O_O Whoops! I’m sorry, I was unaware! I find it funny however that we’ve crossed paths like this and especially with one of your donut pictures! I was shocked to find a picture from the same Mister Donut that I live near. If you are okay with me keeping the picture on here, I will cite my source immediately. Thanks for reading and thanks for the advice 🙂


    • No problem. I assumed you meant no harm.
      It is ok to use my pictures as long as you follow the “rules” of the Creative Commons Licence previously mentioned, that is with a mention and a functioning link.
      However, hotlinking is never OK, and I’m not talking just for me here. Actually, you reminded me to do something that I always postponed doing, it is to block hotlinking from my sites (if you look at this page after emptying your cache – or another browser) you’ll see that the picture doesn’t show on your site anymore).

      If you don’t know what hotlinking is, it’s basically to use the other picture directly from the other site (I forgot how wordpress.com works, but basically when you enter the url of another site in the “insert picture” thing).
      What it does is not include the picture in your site, but uses the picture that is still hosted on the original site. It’s a big no-no because you basically use the other site’s bandwith.
      So the proper procedure when you use someone else’s photo, is first check if they’re ok with it or not. If they are, save the picture on your computer, then upload it on your site, and mention the source with a functioning link to either the homepage of the site or better the page where you found the picture.
      Basically, in this case, you add this link http://ogijima.com/donuts/ to my name or the name of the site.

      I hope all of this makes sense.

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