(14.11.2016 – 20.11.2016)

This Saturday a couple of our Japanese friends took us to the annual Bamboo Festival in a city called Takeda, almost 1.5 hours away from Oita.

Takeda, which literally translates to „Bamboo and Rice Fields“, is known for its giant bamboo forests that are coating the city. Once a year the habitants of Takeda organise a bamboo and light festival in order to raise awareness for the efforts it takes to keep the bamboo forests in good conditions. Due to ongoing modernisation, nowadays the demand for bamboo is steadily decreasing (traditional Japanese houses were built out of bamboo; one can still find traditional tatami mats and sliding doors made from bamboo paper in some houses or restaurants).

A field full of bamboo lights in front of a ‚waterfall‘ of enlightened threads

Nevertheless, the people of Takeda want to keep their forests as they gave name to the city and symbolise an important part of Japanese culture. So once a year visitors from all over the prefecture find their way to Takeda to enjoy the beautiful lights leading the way through the city and to eat typical Japanese food from one of the numerous stands on the sides of the road (if you ever get the chance to visit a Japanese festival, I recommend arriving with an empty stomach). I tried a savoury pancake wrapped around chopsticks, which was very fatty but definitely worth the extra calories!