Sendai Tanabatababibubebo | 22 07 2007
Tanabata, according to wikipedia, is a Japanese star festival, derived from Obon traditions and the Chinese star festival, Qi Xi. The festival is usually held on July 7, and celebrates the meeting of Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). The Milky Way, a river made from stars that crosses the sky, separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year. This special day is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar; however, in Sendai, Tanabata is celebrated from August 6th-8th and has fireworks on the 5th.
Sendai Tanabata is considered one of Tohoku’s top 3 festivals and might be worth the trip to Tohoku if you have the time. I wouldn’t recommend making the trip for those with a short stay in Japan, but for those living in Japan, Sendai Tanabata, along with a trip to Matsushima, could make for a nice weekend.
I say along with Matsushima, because to be honest there isn’t much to Sendai Tanabata. Basically, these decorations are hung all through the covered shopping street and it is really crowded. The decorations are paid for by the shops are really advertisements when in comes down to it; however, some of them are quite impressive. I live close to Sendai, so I have been twice, but I do not feel the need to go a third time.
As a photographer, I feel like you can make some interesting photos. I particularly enjoyed just waiting behind these decorations for people to walk through them. If you are looking for more specific information about Sendai Tanabata here is Sendai City’s Official Tanabata Site or wikipedia.
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