Origami Puppet Show

EJ has been folding paper ever since my former students introduced it to her. I was happy to find that the 100Y store has all you could ever want for the craft.

Paper, bilingual instructions books, even plastic boxes to hold the paper!

Fortunately our neighbor also loves origami so the girls worked their way through the books making everything from animals to vehicles. 

They decided to have a puppet show and put their creations on sticks (pencils).

 The curtain went up.

 And the show began.

I was treated to the story of a princess turtle and star pig. How I love their imaginations!

Hiratsuka Tanabata

Tanabata is a Japanese star festival that was imported in 755 from China by Empress Koken. It is a fun festival to kick off the summer season and see bright and colorful lanterns hanging over the streets.

This was the first time EJ wore her yukata, a cotton kimono worn in the summer. 

CJ and Baby B wore theirs as well and I must say they make getting dressed for these festival easy. They are also comfortable and cool for the kiddos.

We saw more and more yukatas as we neared the Hiratsuka train station.

We were part of a sea of people spilling out of the station onto the streets. Fortunately everyone was very polite as we pushed our stroller through the crowds.

Almost immediately we were walking under giant lanterns hanging over the streets.

One of the holidays traditions is people write wishes and hang them on paper at the festival. It would be fun to be able to read what these say.

Baby B was eyes wide open at the colors flying around him.

There was a lantern for everyone.

We headed onto a side street to track our second reason for coming, the food.

The fried spaghetti was interesting.

The fish on a stick kept CJ occupied.

This vendor had street charm.

DaddyO wasn't sure what he was ordering.

But he guessed correctly that the tied leaves had mochi inside. CJ had fun unwrapping the green package.

Both kids were troopers at trying everything.

A high five from Little L.

And we were off to try some more food.

As the sun set the lanterns were even more beautiful.

EJ ended the night doing what she had read about in her books about the festivals, eating colorful shaved ice.

Then it was back on the train for our ride home.

CJ took the last picture of the night.

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