In October Matsue has a festival called the Water Lantern Festival or Matsue Suitoro. This year it started on October 1st and is ending on the 31st. It takes place on the waterways around the Matsue Castle and along the Shiomi Nawate Street. Shiomi Nawate is a street lined with preserved middle class Samurai Houses. You can actually go into these houses and see what they looked like since they are still in their original state from the Edo Period (1603-1868).
When you first get to the front of the castle many food stands are up and selling traditional Japanese snacks such as Takoyaki and Yakitori! They were also selling candy apples, and no Momma…I didn’t eat one. They also had chestnut fried cakes as shown below, they seemed to be dough with a chestnut in the middle, simple enough (on the far left is Yakitori, then candy apples then the chestnut fried cakes)!
The group I was with didn’t know food would be here so we ate curry at an Indian restaurant beforehand. But I am actually glad we did that because it was a bit expensive. I didn’t really wanna pay $5 for a piece of meat on a stick.But it did smell really good!
So when we walked further in a few of us wanted to ride the Horikawa Sightseeing Boat so it was only 500 yen which is about $5 so not bad at all! And so we all took our shoes off and got in, we found out the boat doesn’t usually run at night. I think the tour guide said they only run at night twice a year and one of those reasons was for this lantern festival so I am really happy that we got to ride it on one of those rare times. It was absolutely beautiful seeing the lanterns alongside the road at night. Japan is so quiet and still that you really get the chance to just sit and soak it all in. Also shoutout for this blanket, it’s starting to get a decent chill in the air and my feet were thankful to be covered.
So the boat only took you about 20 minutes from the castle just far enough down so you can see the lanterns along the side, but the catch you have to walk back. But this time I was not upset about it, even though the chill was nipping at my ears and nose, the sight of the lanterns was enough to quell the cold.
People from Shimane made these lanterns. Ive seen photos on a wall at my school and some of my students made some of these.
These cute cats lined the steps up the castle!