Ogi Matsuri (1st Japan trip for Murray & Emma)

Swam in sea by minshuku. Plan to go to mask maker aborted. Wandered with Eileen. Raided a grocery store and ate on the steps by the sea.Followed the mikoshi being carried.Went to a differennt onsen in the afternoon.Hoping for sushi dinner but many restaurants closed. Drove all the way to Mano in search. Lovely scenic drive. Stopped to watch the sunset over the sea.Ate takoyaki (octopus dumplings on a stick) and fish-shaped waffle/pancakes filled with adzuki bean paste. Quite nice but would have been even better hot and fresh out of the mould :)Watched the mikoshi arrive back at the shrine at 7PM. Then wandered up the main street talking to Joe the american kodo apprentice from Buffalo NY. Dragged into an upstairs room of a liquor store to a party banquet. All kinds of delicious looking food. Emma sampled quite a few but I only managed half a beer and a few mouthfuls of sashimi because I was trying to talk to people and repay the hospitality. The conversation had arrived at taiko when the cart playing Ogi Matsuri arrived below the window and we were invited to go outside and play. The crowd gave Esther a rousing cheer when she played. We all played – even Emma! Talked to Naugo a pretty girl in kimono who played beautiful onna-uchi style opposite Joe doing the same in his yukata. Also talked to Etsue another of the apprentices.Murray

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