Resident Blog

Yukata Contest at Shimbashi

Summer in Japan is unique for two things. One being the blistering weather. Rainy season doesn’t even help because it’s also humid. So if you’re not getting wet by the rain, you’re getting wet from your own sweat running down your body.


However, summer is special in Japan because it has so many festivals, and I love festivals. One of the festivals I traveled to this year was the Shimbashi festival, which is a little far away from the house.

However, I had just bought a yukata and I was desperate to put it on. It took me multiple attempts to wear it because it was my first time. It looked… decent. But not good enough for me to want to take a picture and share it with all of you. Sorry, maybe next time.

For now, here is a sneak peek of the texture:


Of course, I didn’t go alone (even though originally I was planning to). One of the new housemates and friends was already there so I just met him.

Meet Olly. He’s from England and a fellow video game nerd like myself.


We didn’t really do much at the festival because I was late. I thought it started at nine, but apparently, that wasn’t the case. Olly saw more of the festival than I did. However, I did make it in time for the yukata contest that took place.

Olly said that I should have been up there, but to be honest, I hate being the center of attention. I feel too nervous. Also, at the end of everyone showing off their yukata, each of the contestants had to give a speech in Japanese.

Ha ha. No thank you. まだ日本語が苦手です。 。 。

Even if I didn’t have to make a speech, the last thing I want is for a crowd of creepy middle-aged Japanese salarymen staring at me and saying 可愛いですね


Everyone looked so beautiful in their yukata, though. They walked around the stage with elegant steps and smiles as they waved at the audience. The judges asked them questions about their yukata. I couldn’t understand very much, but I understood enough to know that one of the questions was “What does the Yukata mean to you?”

To be honest, it’s an interesting question. One I’m still unsure about the answer. I haven’t worn one very long so I think I’m not the best person to ask. However, I think a yukata (or kimono) is a representation of who someone is. There are so many colors and patterns. Some are light. Some are dark. Some are simple and others are crazy and pop.

But I'm going to stop myself before I end up thinking too much. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. That’s the downside of graduating with an English degree. You spend so much time with literature, all you do is think and ponder.

At the end of the day, though, Olly and I were able to enjoy some good alcohol before heading home. It started to drizzle so we quickly went to the first station we saw. The path back home ended up being longer than the path going to the festival, but we still had a good time.
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Hello. This is Mara. I'm from Boston in the US. I teach English and am a student of Japanese. My goals are to live and learn about this wonderful country and make new friends. I also write stories but have never written a blog before. There's a first for everything, though, right?