Travelogue 2012 – Christopher Paulus

Throughout the trip so far I have had a fantastic and eye opening experience learning about a new culture and lifestyle.  Today, July 27th was probably the greatest experience yet.  I am usually a very grumpy morning person, so fresh-water clam harvesting at 9:30am sounded like a cold, dirty and painful experience.  I felt that way until I began clamming the Shijimi (fresh-water clams) at Lake Jusan Bridge Park.  I was immediately shocked at how much fun I was having.  At first, I only thought clam harvesting was getting really dirty, clamming for big clams in Maine, but now I see a whole new side to this shoreline activity.
     Unfortunately, our lunch took a bit too long so we were unale to partake in the pottery.  On the bright side, that meant more time for shopping!  Shopping in Japan is very interesting.  It usually consists of either spending way too much money or not being able to find a T-shirt big enough!  (Chris is 6ft.5!  He has had to duck under almost every doorway we have gone under for our entire trip!)
     After shopping, we headed to Shimano to get fitted for our Nebuta costumes.  The fitting of the outfits was slightly awkward for me, but after I got it on, it was all fun from then on.  We quickly joined in the parade and began to walk with one of the floats.  The parade sped by because of our entertainmen in front of us.  A very young group of girls were performing traditional Tsugaru dances, which were excellent and fun to watch.  After the parade, I attempted to drum, which was a completely new experience.  The greatest feeling was probably when I changed back into my street clothes, after being cocooned in the yukata costume.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this trip, and will definitely consider another visit in the future.
– Christopher Paulus, 16, Bath