Sake Matsuri

October is, in my opinion, the best month here in Japan. The weather is perfect, there are four whole days off work (!!), and of course, there are two days every October when people from all over the country come to the town of Saijo to drink copious amounts of alcohol. In fact, when attending the famous Saijo Sake Festival, you are expected – encouraged, even – to drink lots and lots of sake (I even saw kiddies who would have been at least ten years under the age limit tastetesting some of Saijo’s finest with their parents!) and everyone looks the other way if you end up acting like a complete fool.

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My day at a sumo match

Sumo. What I knew about this sport you could have printed on the head of a pin. So naturally I got on the net and researched this quintessentially Japanese sport. With names like Yokozuna Asashoryu (the highest ranked sumo wrestler) and all the official terms such as mawashi (the cute little nappy or loin cloth-like uniform they wear) dohyo (the name of the arena) and shiomaki (the action of throwing salt) floating through my head, I was ready for my first real sumo experience. Or so I thought.

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