It's already in the middle of May, but I wanted to tell you about an event held on the 5th of this month. It is called "Children's Day", when people hope for the well-being of their children. And in the Edo period (1603-1868), people started to hang streamers called "Koinobori" on May 5th. "Koi" means "carp". People hung them so that their children would advance in the world like carps going up waterfalls. And I came to this place this weekend called "Ryuujinkyou Ootsuribashi", or "Ryuujin Big Suspension Bridge", where a number of big carp streamers were still hung.
It was a bit chilly, and cloudy with occasional sunshine on the day. But I liked those clouds, since "Ryuujin" means a dragon, and it seemed a dragon might come out of those clouds all of a sudden.
You can see many carps hung on both sides of the bridge. I just wondered how many carps there were. You can cross this bridge for 300 yen per person, or 3.2 us dollars.
After crossing this bridge, I took this pic from the other side. I think you can see how high this bridge is. About 100 meters high. Those big and a bit smaller "Koinobori" sometimes represent a family. And of course, bigger ones are parents.
At the end of the bridge, there was this picture of a dragon.
And there was a machine with which you can ring three kinds of bell, love, happiness, and hope. One ring costs you 100 yen. You'd want to ring the love bell with your lover, right?
I was impressed to see those streamers blown by a strong wind. This event had been held until yesterday.
I have often seen this "Ayu no Shioyaki" or Japanese trouts grilled with salt. I wanted to try it, but I had planned to have something more filling on my way back home.
I'm a huge fan of Japanese liquor, or "sake". And at the souvenir shop I saw "sake" named "Ryuujinkyou" or "Ryuujin ravine". I think some of you noticed that the pronunciations of bridge and ravine are the same in Japanese. I mean, "Ryuujinkyou" stands for Ryuujin bridge and Ryuujin ravine.
This is a sculpture called "The Legendary Red Dragon". It took a month to carve this and surprisingly you can order the same one by calling the sculptor.
And here's a video of the bridge that I shot.