Guided Tour in Yukata
I joined an event on August 6 last year in which I wore yukata (cotton kimono), walked around Ryogokou in Sumida City, and experienced a variety of activities. With an English-speaking guide, we were fully able to enjoy the event even though I am not so good at Japanese.
Wearing Yukata at Ekoin Temple
First, we went to Ekoin Temple, the event’s meeting place. After choosing a yukata, obi (belt), and geta (clogs) that I assumed suit me, I dressed in them with support of staff. The staff immediately got me dressed. I was impressed by their professional skill! Then, we watched traditional performing arts at Ekoin, such as shishimai (lion dances), and other performances by women and children, all of them close-up.
Watching Sumo Event at Kokugikan Arena
We walked to Kokugikan Arena, still wearing geta and yukata, which we were not accustomed to. Kokugikan was huge and had a powerful feeling. I saw adults and children who were doing sumo and also learned history and looked at pictures of sumo at the Sumo Museum nearby.
Tea Ceremony at Former Yasuda Garden
Then, we moved to Former Yasuda Garden and participated in a tea ceremony. Matcha (powdered green tea) and Japanese sweets were served and I enjoyed eating and drinking them, after saying “Otemae chodai itashimasu” in Japanese (meaning I’ll start eating). They were delicious! I strolled around the quiet Japanese garden, ate kakigori shaved ice, and enjoyed goldfish scooping.
Evening Cruise on the Sumida River
When the sun was going down, we boarded a boat and set off to cruise on the Sumida River! I felt something special when eating a bento (box lunch) dinner while seeing Tokyo Tower and TOKYO SKYTREE® with the sunset.
To be honest, I was a little bit tired at that time because I walked around all day in geta, which were unfamiliar footwear to me, but I felt rested and healed by the enjoyable shamisen (Japanese instrument) performance.
Bon Odori Dance
In the evening, after disembarking, we went to Kokugikan-dori Street, a venue of Bon Odori dance festival, and felt the summer feel of Japan! People were dancing in a row around a tower in the center. This scenery showed me another aspect of Japanese culture.
I danced to many songs by watching other people’s example. I felt that I unexpectedly danced well and enjoyed it very much! As stalls selling drinks and snacks stood there, drinking and eating was available during the event. It is one of charms of festivals in Japan. Time passed so quickly and the finale was a fireworks launching!
I definitely enjoyed the summer in Japan all that day and absolutely recommend you to join this kind of event!
GOOD NEWS！Guided Tour in Yukata will also be held on Augest 5th, 2017!