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Hyakumangoku Festival Day 1

This weekend in Kanazawa is the Hyakumangoku Festival! It celebrates the arrival of Toshiie Maeda into the city with three days of cultural events, parades, dances, and the like. Today was the "kaga yuzen tohro-nagashi" or floating lanterns. From 7-9 at night, lanterns were floated down the Asanogawa River. I went with my host mother, and though it started drizzling it soon cleared up.

Some of the lanterns had pictures on them, like flowers or animals. Otherwise they said things like "lets go Japan!". There were people standing in the center of the river at various intervals (it's not that deep) to push the lanterns that get stuck on the rocks back to the moving waters. Fun fact: the prefecture I'm in, Ishikawa, means "rocky river" and the two rivers that wind their way through Kanazawa live up to that description. In places you can just walk on the rocks to the center of the river, which many people were doing here to take pictures and get a better view. Fun fact number two: Kanazawa means "gold river" and gilding is a traditional art here in the city.

There was a tour de force of families with small children, young couples on dates, women and men wearing yukata (summer kimono, often worn at festivals). There was an enka singer (enka is traditional Japanese music, usually about love or flowers or something like that) who sang for a while. Oddly enough I really enjoy that style of music, I find it very soothing. It really set the mood for watching the lights make their way down the waters...

Tomorrow is Hyakumangoku Festival Day 2: parades!


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Hi guys, long time no see. Haven't had much time to write, recently, but I have a slew of (hopefully) new material to show you guys. 
Two weeks ago my family came to visit for my brother's spring break, and I had planned a (pretty epic, if I may say so myself) cross-Japan trip for them. Over the course of 10 days we were going to visit Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji, Kanazawa, and Tokyo. After the fam arrived, we took the bullet train all the way over to Hiroshima (a 5 hour affair) and then worked our way back east towards Tokyo.
Our first stop, Hiroshima, dawned bright and warm. We started the morning at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which is at one end of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The museum is, in a word, heavy. It's one of those museums where you feel like you should read every single bit of text and look at every photo and bear witness, albeit 70 years later, to the utter horrors that the atomic bomb wrecked on this city. 
As I walked through the exhibits, …