Monday, August 3, 2009


みんなさん, こんにちわ! I just spent my first weekend in Okazaki City. At first, I wasn't sure of what to think of it, but now it is slowly growing on me a bit more. I was under the impression that it had no character, but after watching the fireworks this weekend, and visiting the places that we did, I've decided that it isn't so bad after all. My host family and I went to watch the annual fireworks this past Saturday. We had a "special" seat, which meant that we were sitting along the riverbank, right next to where the fireworks were being launched. Needless to say, it was very loud and I'm sure I am partially deaf now after that experience. We enjoyed some good, typical festival food (yakisoba, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, etc.) and had some good (but limited) conversation! Halfway through the fireworks, it began to rain--literally, pour--and many people decided to leave. We toughed it out and stayed for the entire two hours, though by the time we were finished, my handbag and shorts were wet, and so was the towel we had brought to sit on. I felt bad for those wearing yukata because they had gotten all dressed up!

Today I went on a field trip! First, we visited a Taiko drum factory (it's very small actually), where they manufa
cture all the different Taiko drums. It was really interesting to see how they are made. I had no idea how much hard work goes into making just one drum, and also how long the entire process is. It take roughly about one month to make a taiko drum (and I believe that's only a medium size one). They are also quite expensive (I think it cost $1,000 for the biggest one). I really enjoy Taiko drumming so I was really excited about visiting the factory. I found out that they use cow hide as the cover of the Taiko drum, which is very tough. First, they have to soak the cow hide, and then depending on the type of drum they want to make (smaller drums require thinner hide), they either thin out the hide or keep it as it is. Then it goes through a drying process, and then they must cut the hide in a circular shape. I couldn't understand all of it, but I gathered that much.
After visiting the Taiko drum factory, we had a nice Indian lunch and headed off to Rokushi Shrine. We didn't have a guided tour, so I have no idea
of the shrine's importance. It was a beautiful shrine though. Anyway, short update, as I must go to bed soon...

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