In Japan, there are two national holidays during the month of September: Respect for the Aged Day and Autumnal Equinox Day. On rare occasions of heavenly intervention, these two days align to form a five-day holiday referred to as Silver Week. However, this year, the holidays came in the form of two three-day weekends. I am still a big fan.
On the first of the two long weekends, I stayed put–in none other than the world-renowned city of Fukuyama. Now, before you take pity on my seemingly domestic celebration of Respect for the Aged Day, let it be known that I did no baking or cleaning during that weekend. Rather, several fellow ALTs came to visit. Although the 11th edition of Lonely Planet Japan claims that Fukuyama is simply a “large industrial city without much to attract the traveler,” I think the weekend’s festivities prove that these professional travelers slash authors are sadly mistaken.
As tour guide extraordinaire of Fukuyama and its neighboring cities, the weekend included playing basketball in Onomichi, eating and drinking at several restaurants, strolling around the castle, visiting the port city of Tomo-no-ura and wandering on the island of Sensui-jima. Finally, to top the weekend’s events off, there was a festival in Tomo-no-ura the very evening of our visit. The festival seemed to consist of community members eating, drinking, singing and dancing. They encouraged us to assist in pulling their float around town and fed us boiling hot soup in the sweltering heat. Minus the soup part, the festival was extremely entertaining.
Take a look at the pictures and video below and remember to respect your elders–because they are wise and wonderful–and, they give us three day weekends!