Tokyo: Day Four

September 2005


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There was a fall festival (Aki Matsuri) in the city over the weekend. To celebrate, people assembled in different parts of town with mikoshi, and carried them through the streets to varoius shrines while playing taiko drums, chanting and dancing.

While we ate ramen on Sunday morning, we could hear the festival getting started. I often went to see fall taiko performances at the Lincoln Park temple in Chicago - the boisterous shouting and rhythmic drumming are fantastic. The vibrations resonate in your head and body.



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 After ramen, we participated in the morning session of Alan's fashion death march



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I mostly took photos.



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Halfway through the walk, John bought a bunch of  Kyoho grapes - dark as eggplant and larger than a quarter (a variety of Concord or "Black Queen" grapes). I was utterly spoiled by the experience of eating them, and will never think of table grapes the same way.

The one pictured reminded me of a little face.




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Then we met up with Keita and his friend Masa to attend part of the festival. We also went to the Asakusa shrine, shopping in the stalls for snacks and gifts. 



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The festival and shrine photos are my favorite from the trip.

They show how new and old things mingle within Tokyo.



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 This is the last float being carried in. There is much shouting, dancing and drumming, and then a ceremonial chant from the person in charge of the festival. I made a short video.



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 After dinner, we said goodbye to Keita, and went to Shibyua. We ended up at Tokyo Food Show, looking at insanely beautiful and delicious foods that were often quite expensive.



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 My favorite new booth was the "Selfish Princess" store - which despite marketing genius, faces stiff competition from the many other bakeries and patisseries in the mall-like structure.





After much browsing we purchased ice cream and some more of the magic grapes.

Here they are, with some objects for size comparison. $15.00, but worth every penny!



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I also got a custard puff. When the attendant asked me how long it would be till I brought the pastry home for refrigeration, I was a little surprised. But upon opening the package I discovered that my $2.10 purchase included it's own personal supply of dry ice! 



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I miss Tokyo already... especially in my belly!