July’s monthly outing for the gang of old lens enthusiasts was an excursion to a summer festival in the town of Narita, not far from the international airport. As predicted, it was drizzling from the morning. Since I was traveling 2 hours to get there, I decided to arrive an hour earlier than our meeting time, to start shooting. This was a good move, as the shrines on wheels were still parked in front of the station and were about to start moving when I stepped out of the station. The kids in rain coats were still smiling with full of energy. I put a plastic bag on top of the camera and started shooting.
Saturday that we went was the middle day of the 3-day festival. There were people coming to watch the festival but they were mostly finding a spot under a roof in front of shops along the street. Beer sellers were having a quiet day given such a cool and drizzling day, though a festival would normally be a big sales opportunity.
I couldn’t help smiling as I shot in the rain. It reminded me of shooting the Roy Krathong Parade in Chiang Mai. This time I put a short rubber lens hood screwed in front of the wide snap shot lens, onto which I taped the plastic bag. But I must say I did very little to avoid the splash falling on the front lens protector glass. Some shots you can see the effect of the drops. But the perfect moment captured is no less exciting.
While grabbing some rice balls at convenience store before the start of the day I spoke to a young man in happi (festival’s official short dress) about the weather. He told me that in the old days, he heard, that in the old days it was not so unusual to hold this festival before the monsoon season was out, but they would say this would mark the end of it and the start of the summer to follow. One thing that impressed me about the festival is what I also felt a year ago at the festival at the old town of Sawara nearby – lots of young people in community participate actively, and they are very friendly and supportive to the visitors from outside the community. I had anticipated the mass of people pushing each other like the Gion festival in Kyoto, but no, this was a more relaxed festival. Due to other plans, I was unable to check out the last and possibly the biggest day of the 3-day event on Sunday, but maybe it is something I would like to do next time.
Many thanks to the gangs of the old lens club. It’s been a lot of fun being part of the outings. In this round, Mr Osawa kindly brought 3 different wide angle lenses after I told him I was looking for something in that space. I do hope we catch up again. Maybe next time, it will be in Australia!