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Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No560

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 We come back from Obon holidays-on Augusut 18th, Monday, JPT. We will be so happy to be able to meet you on the net again!

Obon holidays are very special- it used to have been spiritual moment as you can see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bon_Festival

Visiting ancestors' graves is the most typical thing to do and obon is time for family reunion.

There is always a big traffic jam in the weekend around Obon time(August 13th -16th). Today, Shinkansen was full of passengers, and major highways were choked. People get home exausted!

In mid Obon time, we travelled to Ise(Mie prefecture) with our daughters and the family of the elder daughter, Shoko. We were going to Toba aquarium but found the place was SO crowded. We gave up to join the long que for the parking lot and drove, looking for some beach to rest. We drove narrow road in the middle of rice field and had `time-warped' to Showa era swimming beach!

There was an open air hut with simple tin roof.  There are raised floor - like a low table with about five tatami mattress wide. They spread goza mattress, so we can lie down. No parking fee is needed, and the fee for the small space is US $5 per person. Less than half of the place was oppcupied. Young families came to sit down, and the old ladey told them, apologetically, the place needed fee.

No loud music, no life guards-probably only 20 people in total at that beach, except the old lady and the old man with sun-tanned face. He told us the place was very shallow off the shore, proudly.  The sea breeze felt so good, you can hear the sound of waves only.

Our one-and-a half years old granddaughter enjoyed playing with water-it was her first time playing with nami, waves! Her mother and aunt(Shoko and Mugi) were laughing like little children. Ichiro was relaxing - throwing himself on the mat and having `unplugged' time.

We said each other, the beach is really SHOWA atmosphere.

Showa perild is 1926-1989. It is now Heisei period (this year is Heisei 26). People like me, who was born in Showa period(I was born in Showa 35) is recently treated like dinasaur. Anyway, `sounds like Showa' or `looks like Showa' means old fashioned. However, Showa refers nostalgie in a good way too. It used to be parents took children to these Umino ie (House of SEA)just like the place we found this time and let children play until they were satisfied. Sometimes they did suikawari (watermelon bust game) or suntan contest on the beach!

We almost felt like we have time-warped to good-old days, hearing our daughters' laughter. Unplugged afternoon at the beach became unforgettable moment for us. The place like this will be gradually gone, the moment was really a gift of obon.

We hope you have a special and unforgettable summer!