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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

Takada Nights

For some reason everything smells so much sweeter in the thick of night.   It could be the allure of female perfume walking by or the warm evening smell of pink flowers wafting in the breeze.   The river yields and extra mineral scent that mixes in with the it all, and you know you are about to have a really good night. 

Takada Castle rendered under a  warm night sky.    Japanese mothers holding cute little chubby Japanese babies.  They are exhausted from all the festivities.  I feel for them, but I pressed on.

In this second picture you are looking at something called "goma - dongo" a sweet sticky rice ball covered in warm sesame seed paste.   This treat is my personal favorite.  I love the warm buttery gooey goodness when they are made fresh like these were.    Whenever you come to a festival in Japan  look for these!

There are so many different kinds of food you can enjoy at a Japanese festival, but these dango are authentically Japanese and help get you in the mood for the night.   And of course great beer always helps.

Pink pedals are scattered about
The night time revelry was absolutely crazy.     An then there was Sakura Road!  Take me to heaven.  

Down this road, the lighting had red cellophane wrapped around them, so this intensified the pinkness in the flowers.

As the night wore on the revelry intensified even more.   I beer breathed old Japanese men laughing  and the sound of cameras going off all around.  This was a great trip.  


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