On Saturday night, I made plans to meet some friends in Niigata City, so I decided to go down a little earlier to see my obaachan. As usual she re-gifted snacks and fruit, given to her by friends and family, and made me take them. She asked me when I was meeting with friends and I told her 7pm. She said that was too late and insisted that I make them meet me earlier. Instead of telling her not to worry over and over again like I usually do, I told her I would, and instead went shopping for the next hour. Haha, she’s SO funny, I LOVE her!!
That night, while not quite formally matsuri-ing, we had a little matsuri of our own. Colleen’s friend Martin (who has been in Japan for quite some years) showed us around to the city’s nightlife. It was rather educational as we learned about a variety of bars in the area. But of course, when the clock strikes 11:00pm Murakami people have to be on the train, or they’ll turn into steamed pumpkins. Aki and I ended up having to chug the rest of our beverages and then sprint to the train station in order to make it in time, but we made it WOOT!!!
After the parade, Katrina organized Murakami’ ‘welcome party’ barbeque along the beeeeautiful river right by where Amy and Kevin live. Other people from the area also came out and it was so pretty and relaxing and basically fantastic to be with a good group of people on big rocks, next to a refreshing river, amidst tree-covered-mountains, and under the sun and clear blue skies.