Monday, February 23, 2015

Matsuri Festival

Saturday was Matsuri Festival day! I will be honest, this was probably the festival that I was least excited about. I wanted to go, but the rest I am planning to go to are ones that interest me more. Especially when I read reviews saying that over the last few years it has turned into more of a spot for all the anime fans to hang out at.

I headed out to the festival later than I had hoped, not arriving in downtown until a little after 1 pm. I had wanted to get there in time for the 10:30 drum performance, which I obviously didn't. it turned out alright because I found another drum performance after a few minutes of wandering around Heritage Square! Happy day!

I parked several blocks away from Heritage Square in a small parking lot, apparently everyone must have parked closer or in the garages, because there weren't a lot of cars there when I parked.

I walked towards Heritage Square, enjoying the day, the walk, and the quietness of downtown while everyone else was at the festival. While walking I had a nice little ego boost when a gentleman turned back to walk towards me and tell me that he just had to tell me I had a beautiful smile and that whoever I was in a relationship was a lucky man and to make sure that he knew that. Thank you Mr. New York! (I forgot his name, but remember he moved here from New York fifteen years ago, so sorry for forgetting your name!) It was a nice little chat to start off my day.

Anyways, I arrived at Heritage Square, which is a really fun little area of downtown Phoenix, it is the Heritage and Science Park, and is the oldest residential block in downtown Phoenix, I believe. It has restored old houses, the Science Center, etc. I am planning on going back over there sometime when there isn't something going on to look around the houses.
I wandered around the Festival, taking in the different sights. Lots of kids in anime customs, a stage with Japanese dancers, a large display of various bonsai trees, all sorts of different Japanese food tents, booths of various vendors; face painters, jewelry, art work, fabrics, bags, etc.

I enjoyed watching the dancers and the drumming was entertaining. I have always loved drums from around the world. I don't know what it is about them, it just strikes something in me deep down.

Before I left I stumbled upon the tail end of a martial arts demonstration and watched some sword work for awhile. According to the man who was selling drinks and snacks, who I bought some water bottles from (thanks dude!), last year was the biggest year they had had with approximately 30,000 people in attendance. He said that they had had archery and a larger variety of performances than he had seen this year.

While I would have liked to have seen more authentic culture, and more performance by native Japanese and less Americans in anime, it was a neat experiences. It was fun to do something new and different and get a cultural experience like that on my own. It is the first in the line of many events that I plan on attending in the future!

No comments:

Post a Comment