Monday, July 15, 2013

Fukuoka hakata gion matsuri

Woke up today (14.7) early to eat some breakfast and to get my stuff ready. I still had some time before my train would leave so I wrote some postcards and sent them.

It's been so nice in Hiroshima but today I'll finally leave to Fukuoka to see the Gion Festival there.
There is going to be portable shrines that they will be carrying around a certain rout while wearing a loincloth. It starts at 4.59 with the first song that starts the day and then 5.00 they start to run around with the shrines (that way A LOT) on their shoulders. 

So I took my leave from my hostel and had a nice chat with the staff and was off to the station. 
I ate some delicious ramen there to fill up my stomach before the ride. 

I arrived in Fukuoka at 13.34 at the hakata station and there I was going to wait for my host.
It turned out to be a little fiasco but nothing bad. Her apartment had had a gas problem and they were coming to fix it so she said that she was going to be late.
So I waited and waited but in the end I just decided that I'd just meet her tomorrow and  that I'd just go to the Tenjin station in Fukuoka to leave my stuff there and wait for another Couch Surfer with whom I had made some arrangements to stay at a Dojo for this night in order to see the festival.

So that being done I had some time to kill in Tenjin until I could meet her. And let me tell you that it was so BORING! :) hahaha 

So we then met with Mayu and went to the dojo. The master was old and friendly and I was so glad that they'd let me come there and stay there to watch the Gion matsuri. 

So we sat down and  more people came and we ate and drank and chatted until morning and soon enough it was 4.59 and the festival started.

The streets were filled with people and the participants of the festival event itself.
Let me tell you, it was AMAZING! Just spectacular in every way. They had big shrines that they carried that looked so heavy and they were all chanting along to the beating of a drum. People standing by were throwing water at them and hosing them down and I got a bit excited and took a quick "hose shower". I was dripping wet!
So it continued on for a while and when it ended I walked with some other foreigners all the way to the Hakata station where I sat down to a Starbucks to drink some coffee and to wait at my host Wei.

It was around 7 that time and I met my host at 7.30 ish and from there we walked together to take the subway  towards her boyfriends house where I will be staying. 

They are both kind and the boyfriend has even a twin brother also which is cool.

So I just took a quick shower and went to bed for 4 hours and now I am updating my blog. Sorry for the late post! 

Cheers 
Robert