Monday, August 24, 2009

Kaeru Matsuri

Back in June when we went to see Matsumoto Castle, we happily stumbled upon the Kaeru Matsuri (Frog Festival) going on along the Metoba (I think. Fuka-chan, do you know?) river. I don't know if it's an annual event (Fuka-chan?) but it was fun, and we had a good time.

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There were booths and tents set up along the river, selling all kinds of frog stuff, there were frog crafts for the kids to make, and all sorts of froggy games.

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Before we came upon the festival, we were walking behind this group of kids, all dressed in green. This was during the Iranian election protests when everyone was wearing green to show their support and we thought "That's kind of weird, but great, they're supporting democracy in Iran!" Turns out they were dressed up for the frog festival! D'oh! (In our defense, that guy was not wearing the frog hat when we first saw them)

The first tent was run by some Japanese scouts, there were all sorts of froggy crafts for kids to do for free. E made a cute little wooden frog charm.



We poked along down the river, checking out all the vendors, I bought a few froggy wares and we watched some of the performers that were set up along the street.

When you bought something from one of the vendors, you got a ticket good for one play at various carnival-type games, Ethan wanted to play the ball toss game that was down in the river
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We bought some tomatoe flavored gelato (blech!), and fresh squeezed orange juice, then packed in and headed for a big farmers market that was supposed to be in the area. We never found it and ended up driving all the way to Nagano! We finally made it back home after a 5 hour drive, the expressway was jammed packed, as usual for a Sunday evening!

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1 comment:

thefukases said...

Ohhhhh!! So close!! I love the frog festival. It's run by the vendors on that street so is not at all traditional or religious but just about having fun. Kinda refreshing sometimes!

I think it's only once a year and the activities vary. We've been to one with a mini steam train going up and down the tracks. So cool!

There are farmer's markets at every rest area along the highway here. Completely over priced though- give me your order and I'l send it down. :)

Glad you got some froggy stuff. The significance is that kaeru is frog and return. So you'll be coming back to Matsumoto some day I guess. :)

You had me laughing over the Iranian thing- Naganoites don't even support Japanese elections!