This month’s Travel Letter takes us to Japan. I visited the lovely Aine in the tiny mountain village Morotsuka in Miyazaki Ken on Kyushu Island. We’re talking waterfalls, shrines and shiny happy people. We’re talking traditional Japanese life. We’re talking kids taking karate in school. We’re talking rice fields and tea farms. We’re talking the Japan you imagine when you imagine a traditional Japanese town. I totally scored.
I was the newbie in town and was therefore given gifts and the super VIP treatment. I ate a lot of the hometown sushi. Did you know each village has it’s own sushi roll? This town had a roll filled with fried chicken, mayonnaise and lettuce. Sort of the McChicken of sushi. Oh well, at least it wasn’t a strange sea creature. Fried chicken may have been the only not-so-traditional Japanese aspect to the trip.
We hopped in a little car and zigzagged around the island. At some point we arrived at a fire festival. Strangers arrived with costumes and we suited up.
Soon we were leading thousands of people through the streets. All of us also carried a flame.
All in the parade were equally-costumed.
At the end, we sat around a bonfire and watched traditional dancing.
And a fire show.
This guy looks hard-core warrior.
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P.S. Tomorrow Sunday February 8, the New York Times comes out with its book list. Paris Letters is #7!!!! I’m currently not near an area where I can pick up a copy, so if you happen upon an extra copy, message me and I’ll send you my mailing address. I also love fun mail. Merci!