Yatai Festival 2015

April 18th and 19th 2015 saw the annual Yatai Matsuri, a local weekend of music, food and fun in downtown Otawara, Tochigi prefecture.
The Yatai festival is an annual spring festival in the calendar.
Yatai are traditionally smallish, mobile food stalls in Japan typically selling ramen or other food.
The name literally means “shop stand.”
The Yatai at the festival however, are beautifully decorated, with lanterns hanging from the sides and are full of people playing flutes and drums.
Although I was away for the first day this year, I got back in time for the second day and the final battle down in central Otawara.
Each Yatai, comes from a particular area of town and its “team” drag it through town during the weekend and come together in a large open area, called the “Kanodoro” making as much music and noise as possible.
In pairs  each team tries to get its supporters cheering loudest and longest as they come together in the centre..

The grand finale, sees all carts together is a big circle, fighting it out.  Luckily once again, we were asked to join the people in the centre of the circle of this year, so we ended up in the middle of this noisy, fun, musical battle.

Its a great weekend, lots of fun and the locals are very welcoming and friendly, all in all a fun weekend.

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