Along our adventures, in this case, June 2022, we made a return visit to a stretch of beach called Nishwaki with a handy wood fired pizza oven/ hang out/ playground/ parking called Iweburo around Ichiro’s birthday. (He really wanted to go back to the sea even since the trip to Shimane when he saw the surfers.)
We ordered pizzas and then spread out blankets, chairs etc and picnic on the beach. Few people, some high-school/college age kids were playing games while the whipped whipped around a bit, the fellas from an takoyaki shop nearby chased a blowing red paper lantern. Ichiro went in for a bit and managed a swim (wade out for a bit amidst the seagrass).
Our friend Ayumi who lives nearby joined us there. (Foreshadowing, we are going to her top floor apartment for fireworks soon).
The “inland sea” is very different than the rugged sea of Japan (or the Pacific coast of which i am not so familiar). Because the seto ni kai is protected by islands, this was a useful place for manufacturing, mining, shipping and transport. As such, some of the locations are hardly pristine but regardless, scenic and handy.
The Pizza Café is totally my style with reggae music playing, guitar scattered around, handbillsfor live music, drums and shakers and Legos and coffee.
With the public health conundrum is the last few years, the usual neighbourhood festivals have been cancelled including our small Tsuchida area event, which is usually a wee bit bigger and held at the elementary school. It’s significant to us as this is where I first met Ryoko’s parents who were helping out selling yakitori. Ryoko bought me my own yukata summer kimono for the event.
Of course, in Japan there are many sizes and traditions with the summertime festivals from small neighbourhood gatherings to epic shrine carrying and fire burning and fireworks.
In this case, in mid-July, 2022, at a small community centre right by our house, the neighbours did their best efforts to do a small and safe gathering which is especially geared towards the kiddos.
There was a sudden rain storm, a band which were doing their best (arena rock and the obligatory country roads”), some young ladies in kimono, fellas in their cool t-shirts, an energetic ballon-making lady, some older gents happy to see me settling into the neighborhood, many people remarking about Ichiro’s adorableness.
Yes, temp checks and masks and you pay a ticket price with then gives you credit at each of the stands so we came home with a buncha extra popcorn we didn’t need/want but ya gotta use your chits.