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Gion Matsuri Yoiyama

On the three nights before the big parade, the main street of downtown Kyoto is closed off for car traffic and transformed into a fair (the days of the fair are called Yoiyoiyoiyama, Yoiyoiyama, and Yoiyama). Food stalls offer grilled meats, grilled bamboo sprouts, grilled octopus, etc.

I wanted to go to the fair on the night before the parade. The only problem was that a typhoon was approaching the city and it was not at all clear whether that would mean light rain or such a storm that the city would go into a complete shutdown. On that day, my boss had advised us foreigners to go home early to make sure that the public transport was still functioning and that we wouldn’t get stranded at the lab. So I took the bus a fair bit earlier than usual and headed home. At that point the wind had picked up a bit but otherwise the situation seemed pretty unproblematic. But this being my first serious typhoon, I was not sure how fast that could change.

I was supposed to meet with a friend in the early evening to visit the fair together. So I asked for her opinion about the typhoon and our chances of going to the fair. She suggested that it would be reckless to go out so we more or less decided to blow it off.

So I sat down on my bed and started to make other plans for the evening. Then, I got frustrated. I just knew that I would be tremendously sad if I missed the fair and stayed at home. So I wrote my friend a message telling her that I was heading out after all and that she should come, too.

On the streets the situation seemed pretty normal. There was light rain and some wind, but lots of people had ventured outside. Even better, it was not as ridiculously crowded as it would have been on a sunny day. Besides, rain on a warm summer day is one of the things that just make me happy, typhoon or no typhoon. So I decided to risk it. Then, my friend called me, freaking out a little. She thought that me being outside was crazy as she was convinced that the typhoon was already wreaking havoc in Kyoto. I told her that it was fine and that between the houses it was not even windy. It took me a while until I had convinced her but in the end she came down to the fair. It stayed calm the whole evening. Only deep in the night the storm finally started but by then I was fast asleep.

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1 Comment

  1. annemarieengler says

    Lieber Simon, es freut mich, dass ihr den Abend geniessen konntet, dass der Sturm erst später kam und du anschliessend auch noch einen guten Schlaf hattest.
    Murmeltiere haben doch auch einen guten Schlaf. Als ich letzthin von Arosa aus zum Weisshorn wanderte, sah ich ein junges Murmeltier ganz aus der Nähe. Es guckte neugierig zu mir und war überhaupt nicht scheu. Erst im letzten Moment schlüpfte es in die Murmelihöhle. Heute war ich auf dem Brühlberg (10 Minuten von meinem Haus entfernt). Plötzlich lief ein Stück vor mir ein junger Fuchs über den Weg. Einen Fuchs habe ich dort noch nie gesehen, höchstens mal ein Reh. Das sind sehr schöne Erlebnisse.

    Liked by 1 person

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