Sendai Tanabata Festival 2010: Day 2: Lanterns, Lanterns and Lanterns.

Lanterns 17

Seriously, there were a lot of lanterns.

The main feature of the tanabata festival is the paper lanterns that get hung up around the city. Sendai has 2 main pedestrian malls packed with shops of all kinds, cafés, restaurants and pachinko parlours. For the festival, different organisations — whether it’s a community group, a company pretending to be a community group, or a company just flashing their brand around — make these giant paper lantern-esque decorations. I don’t really know what to call them, but they are genuinely spectacular! They’re hung from bamboo stalks high in the air draped across the street, and hang down to shoulder level.

There were so many different types of lantern that it’s hard to know which ones to describe. I tried to take enough photos to give an impression of the variety, scale and colour that we enjoyed while wandering the streets, milling through the dense but well-behaved crowd.

I think the crane lanterns were by far the most impressive to me – over one million paper cranes donated by people all over Japan to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Japan. The honesty of the little handwritten sign, along with the striking beauty of the lanterns they made from the cranes, made for a really poignant memorial — a kind of bittersweet optimism. It made quite an impression.

I took some video, too, which I’ll upload later on. In the meantime, soak up the pictures!

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Posted in japan, photos | 1 Comment »

One Comment

  1. jillian says:

    Wow!!!!, but how are they lanterns? Do they light up? Makes the Lilydale Lantern Walk look a bit ordinary, But would love some like this to display next year!!!!! See what you can do???

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