Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Obon Holidays 2015

It is too cold and snowing nowadays in Akita and I am not keeping well due to the cold weather. So I keep postponing writing posts for this blog. There are still a few places or events that hubby and I visited in 2015 about which I have yet to write. I was actually thinking of skipping writing but hubby feels that this blog is a sort of our web diary, so I decided to write about those places and events as and when I can. Today I will write about Obon Holidays of 2015.

From 12th to 16th August 2015, hubby and I had been to our home in Ichinomiya City during the Obon Holidays. Obon is an annual Buddhist event to commemorate our ancestors. It is believed that each year during Obon, the spirits of ancestors return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to welcome the spirits of ancestors, graves are visited, and food offerings are made at family altars. At the end of Obon, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes, and seas so that the spirits can return into their world. However the customs followed may vary considerably from region to region. Obon is celebrated from 13th to 15th August every year.

During the Obon Holidays, hubby and I went to hubby’s ancestral home in Ichinomiya City of Aichi prefecture and also met a few of our relatives in the city. On 12th August 2015, we left our home in Yurihonjo City at 2 pm and reached Akita Airport after about 45 minutes of car drive. Our flight to Centrair Airport in Aichi prefecture was at 4.30 pm. After about an hour of turbulent flight, we reached Centrair Airport and took rest for a while at a cafe restaurant. At the airport, we went the departure lobby to see some Ninja mannequins that were put up near the ceiling of the check-in counters. The Ninja mannequins were exhibited as Mie prefecture’s tourism campaign. The prefecture is famous for the origin of Iga-ryu Ninja. We loved seeing the Ninja mannequins. Afterwards we took a train and reached Ichinomiya Railway Station at about 7 pm. My father-in-law and his wife were waiting for us at the station and we all directly went to a Chinese restaurant to have dinner. I still remember and probably will never forget the taste of two of the dishes namely Ebi chili and Mabo Tofu that we had at the restaurant. Both the dishes were delicious but were extremely hot and spicy. We all chatted while eating and had a nice evening. Finally we reached our home in Ichinomiya at about 9.30 pm. We were rather tired due to all the travel, and went to bed immediately.
Hubby walking at the arrival lobby of Centrair Airport

Hubby about to enter the departure lobby of the airport to see the Ninja mannequins

Ninja mannequins put up near the ceiling of the check-in counters of the departure lobby

Hubby standing at the departure lobby along with some shops and restaurants in the background

Father-in-law and his wife having dinner

Hubby enjoying food along with relatives

Ebi chili

Mabo Tofu

Mabo Tofu was too hot and spicy for hubby and he is fanning his tongue

On the morning of 13th August 2015, hubby, his father, father’s wife, and I visited my late mother-in-law’s grave located near our home in Ichinomiya. Father-in-law cleaned the gravestone with water, offered flowers, and lit some candles and incense sticks, and we all offered our prayers. It was raining heavily so we had to hold umbrellas while cleaning the gravestone and praying. Afterwards we returned home and just relaxed. Hubby watched some high school baseball tournament called Koshien televised live on national television. In the afternoon, hubby and I went to a public golf practice driving range located in the city itself. Public driving ranges are very popular in Japan where golf lovers can practice their swing without worrying about the extraordinarily high golf membership fees for usual golf courses. These golf practice ranges are commonly called Uchippanashi which means ‘just hit it’. Hubby purchased golf balls at a dispenser machine and practiced golf shots using clubs like wedges and drivers. It was fun to watch him practice golf shots and I clicked a few photos of him in action. I also compiled a video of him in action. I should mention that it was the peak of summer season, and the weather was extremely hot and humid. I got a mild heat stroke due to staying in such hot and humid weather for almost three hours. So I took rest after returning home, and unfortunately could not go out to have dinner with all our relatives.
My father-in-law arranging flowers at late mother-in-law’s grave

Hubby, father-in-law and his wife praying in front of the grave

Hubby lying down in a very funny way at home and watching high school baseball tournament on television

Hubby practicing golf shots at a driving range

Yet another photo of hubby practicing golf shots

A compiled video of hubby practicing golf shots

On 14th August 2015, father-in-law, his wife, hubby, and a few other relatives went to play golf at Springfield Golf Club in Tajimi City of Gifu prefecture. They left home at about 6 am. I stayed at home as I felt uneasy and weak from the mild heat stroke I was suffering from. I took rest the entire day and by evening I was feeling alright. Hubby returned home at about 4.30 pm. Soon afterwards, hubby’s sister came to our home to drop off her two daughters who stayed overnight with us. At about 6 pm, father-in-law, his wife, nieces, hubby, and I went to a nearby Sushi restaurant and had dinner.

On 15th August 2015, I made breakfast and fed the nieces and hubby. Afterwards both the girls played some card game with their uncle and we all just relaxed at home. Older niece read a storybook for some time. In the afternoon, we got ready to go outside to do some shopping. While getting ready, it was so cute to see the older niece tying the hair of younger niece. We went to a nearby bookstore and bought a few storybooks and funny toys for the nieces. We returned home at about 5 pm and soon afterwards sister-in-law came to pick up her daughters. It is always a pleasure to have the nieces stay at our home.
Hubby and younger niece playing a card game early in the morning

Older niece reading a storybook

Selfie time with the nieces

Older niece tying the hair of younger niece

Hubby helping the girls to choose some storybooks at a bookstore

Older niece a bit confused as to what kind of storybook to buy and younger niece is losing her patience

Sister-in-law visited our home to pick up her daughters

On 16th August 2015, hubby and I returned to Akita. We left our home in Ichinomiya at about 11.30 am and took a train from Ichinomiya Railway Station to Centrair Airport. Our flight to Akita Airport was at 2.45 pm. We still had a lot of time, so we just relaxed and had lunch at the departure lobby of Centrair Airport. At the lobby we saw a wonderful exhibition of railroad model diorama sponsored by Tomica Plarail. We loved seeing all the perfectly scaled and modeled train toys. We reached Akita at about 4 pm and were back to our usual routine. It was really nice to meet our relatives during the Obon Holidays.
Hubby and I took a train from Ichinomiya Railway Station and are on our way to Centrair Airport

Exhibition of train toys at Centrair Diorama Tomica Plarail Festival

I am relaxing on a massage chair at the departure lobby of Centrair Airport

Back to Akita Airport


Ananya Kiran said...

Well written post..
enjoyed reading it !

What you want in Life

UK Fashionablefoods said...

Nice post. Loved meeting your family. Please take care of your health.. :)

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thank you very much for your comment Ananya Kiran.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thank you for the comment, UK Fashionablefoods :)