Saturday, August 8, 2009

Obscure Summer Festivals in Tochigi - 2009 edition, part 2

10th Fest in Oya 2009
-local chow: brown noodle, fresh vegetables and fruit will be available!-

on Sept 4th:
- from sunset to 22:00 - Only illuminating of oya stones will take place on that day
on Sept 5th:
- from 10:00 to 22:00 - Illuminating of oya stones will take place from sunset until 22:00
- from 19:00 to 20:00 - music by Taiki KURASAWA “Message of Sound and Flame” at Tagesan Johouin (different mountain, but a very nice place, I think it's worth stopping by)

on Sept 6th:
- from 10:00 to 22:00 - Illuminating of oya stones
- starting at 14:00 - Music and Reading “Ura Bon-E” written by Jiro ASADA, produced by Eiji YAMADA, read by Mitsuko MATSUDAIRA, music by Fumiko WAKU and others. Ticket price: 1,000 yen (with Japanese sweets included: imo gushi and dango – yummy stuff, no worries, you’ll like it)


- Oya Stone Yume Akari – A flame for peace - oya stone Illumination on:
Aug 8th (Sat) and 9th (Sun), 14th (Fri), 22nd (Sat) and 29th (Sat) at Heiwa Kannon Sando (that’s where the huge statute is, ask anyone, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction)
- Hiking at Mt. Tage (Tage-san) on Aug 22nd (Sat)

On Aug 14th (Friday) Mercury Band (local talent) and possibly others will play starting at sunset.

And from 17:00 stands with pizza, beer, drinks, sweets, crushed ice with sweet juice and other goodies will be available.
Live music by local bands everywhere.

From 13:00 to 17:00 on all days:
Experience oya stone arts (shaping figures and polishing)
Sightseeing trips organized by volunteers (free of charge)

I like the whole Oya area. The Oya Stone Museum is one of my favorite places in Tochigi. If you go there, be sure to protect your camera (it will get wet, whether you like it or not) and bring a sweater - it's very chilly down there underground. If you plan to take photos, a tripod is essential for your camera and gloves for your hands - your fingers will get numb  - yes, it's THAT cold. A flashlight will also come in handy. And a towel.

Blue pillars bt

That's inside the mine. The decor changes every so often, some thing disappear and new things show up in their place. Personally, I liked how it looked back in 2003 - it was more rugged and raw. Now it's all going towards high touristy gloss. But still worth a visit.

And what's this oya stone? The crap that's lying all around over there - from teeny, little bits on the ground to the hills themselves:

Around the museum 2

My preferred use for the oya stone - to scrub my feet.

Other local events you’ve never heard of:

The 33th Ikanbe* Festival in Nasukarasuyama (I love that town, btw!)
August 21st (Friday)
From 17:00 to 22:00 at the Ikanbe stage - all sorts of stuff going on

August 22nd (Saturday)
From 10:00 to 21:30
Fireworks starting at 21:00.

I am actually quite disappointed that I won’t be able to make it, because it’s on the same day as the Noh play in Nikko. Bummers…
But if you go there, be sure to check out the awesome bridge in that town.

And did I mention that I absolutely LOVE Nasukarasuyama?

*) Ikanbe means “It’s all right” in the local Tochigi dialect.

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