Monday was our preparation day and was also a
national holiday and the day of the big local Fall festival with parades of
folk dancers and booths with traditional foods.The smells were wonderful.We walked
down the mountain to the downtown area instead of driving, in case we couldn’t
find parking, and watched the parades.Many people were very kind and came up and greeted us. So many different groups join in the matsuri parade dancing to traditional music and march up and down the street for hours. There was even a wheelchair group and some "foreigners and their friends" who formed a group and participated. Such a wonderful historical and cultural heritage can be found here. They are very proud of their southern Kyushu contribution to the ancient history of Japan. Our church members here are amazing too with all that they do for each other and the community. This congregation has been here for about forty years.
Even the pizza delivery people are traditional folk dancers.