Sunday was the big festival day, and Shimada seemed like Mardi Gras. There was not a parade in the traditional sense but instead a variety of performances along the main parade route and side streets. There were two types that we saw. One consisted of “floats” used as stages for music and dance performances, typically featuring a 4-6 year-old performers in traditional costumes.
Figure 1 - Taking a peek under a float to see how it rolls
Figure 2 - Dance performance. We were told the performer is 6 years old.
Figure 3 - The Mongolian group
Figure 4 - Street performers
Figure 5 - A high horse
Figure 6 - Another dance performance
Figure 7 - Pulling the float
Figure 8 - The guys on the roof are giving instructions
The other consisted of the raucous floats that rolled on wooden wheels and were pulled with ropes by teams of men. The float stages were occupied by drummers and other musicians. Our group took a turn on the ropes for one float. It was hard work.
Later. Our group and a number of hosts repaired to a nearby restaurant where we had dinner and toasted our friendships.
Figure 9 - First course at sayonara dinner
Figure 10 - Sayonara dinner
Figure 11 - Mayor and deputy mayors came to our hotel to see us off
The next day, Monday, we assembled in the hotel lobby for a final for final goodbyes and boarded a small bus to travel back to Tokyo for the beginning of our follow up tour. We got into Tokyo about noon, wandered around for a while waiting for the rooms to open up and had lunch at a nearby sidewalk café. Our hotel, Mitsui Garden Hotel, is in an upscale neighborhood in the Minato District of Tokyo.
Figure 12 - Trina, Demnlus and Shirley down the street from our hotel in Tokyo
Figure 13 - Lunch near out hotel
I think we needed to catch up on some sleep. After checking in about 4:00 PM, Shirley and I slept about 12 hours.