As promised, here are the photos that I took at the cherry blossom festival in Hitachi last weekend. In the previous post I wrote about the pre-event, but for the full celebration on Saturday, the cherry blossoms were at their absolute peak. The spring weather was gorgeous and I don’t think they could have picked a better date. The timing was perfect!
The main attraction of the day was the ceremonial float – a massive display on wooden wheels, attached to thick ropes, that is pulled down the main street by men wearing traditional hapi clothes. They parked the float in the centre of the festival streets and then put on a grand puppet show. The puppets are exactly the way they were in the past. They’re still hand painted dolls in silk gowns, with painstakingly carved wooden gears that allow the puppets to complete simple movements like little dances or the waving of a sword. The most popular puppets are the archers that are actually able to load a bow and arrow, pull back on the string, and launch mini arrows into the crowd!