Golden Week 2017

 

The Golden Week, Japan’s longest public holiday is coming closer and therefore we at Asahi Nihongo have planned some fun activities for our students to take part in during the vacation time.

Day 1 – May 3rd (Wednesday)

Cost: Pay for yourself
Date / Time: 3rd of May, 12:00
Place: Meeting in front of the school

On the first day of our Golden Week schedule, we will visit the Dontaku Festival. People dress up in unique costumes parade through the streets while clapping shamoji spoons and dance on stages and in squares in various quarters of the town. A shamoji, which is a wooden utensil for serving rice, evokes the image of a woman, busy preparing a meal, dashing out to join the parade passing in front of her house. The parade of gorgeously decorated vehicles called hana jidosha is also entertaining. Of all the Japanese festivals held during the so-called Golden Week when there is a series of national holidays from the end of April to early May, the Hakata Dontaku boasts the greatest number of spectators, with some two million people turning out every year. The name Dontaku is derived from the Dutch word Zondag meaning “Sunday” or “a holiday.” It started in 1179 as a New Year performance known as matsubayashi. In the Edo Period, it evolved into a parade headed by people dressed up as auspicious gods when visits were paid to the Lord of Fukuoka Castle. This parade was called Torimon. Although the Meiji Government banned this parade because of its extravagance, the citizens preserved their traditions by changing the name of the parade to Dontaku. Today, it has changed its name to the Hakata Dontaku Port Festival, with a number of events also held around Hakata Port.
Day 2 – May 4th (Thursday)

Cost: Bring food and drinks to share with everybody
Date / Time: 4rd of May, 10:00
Place: Meeting in front of the school

On the second day of the Golden Week, we will hold a picnic at the Ohorikoen. As the weather in May will be rather good, this will be fun opportunity to get together, drink, eat have fun and make new friends. If you don’t already know, the Ohorikoen is a pleasant city park in central Fukuoka  with a large pond at its center. There is a walking path around the circumference of the pond that is just a little over two kilometers long and is popular for jogging, walking pets and leisurely strolls by the water. Ohori is Japanese for moat, and the pond at the center of the park once served as part of the moat system of the neighboring Fukuoka Castle. The park was constructed between 1926 and 1929 and designed after the classical garden style of the West Lake in China. There are three islands in the middle of the pond that are connected to the mainland and each other by elegant stone bridges. In the south of the park visitors will come across the Ohori Japanese garden which, in contrast to the rest of the park, charges a small entrance fee. Here visitors can see typical features of Japanese gardens like dry landscapes and tea houses. The Gokoku shrine is located across the street about 150 meters to the southeast. The path to the shrine leads under a massive torii gate and the main shrine building is a unique gold structure situated in front of a spacious yard.
Day 3 – May 5th (Friday)

Cost: Bring food and drinks to share with everybody
Date / Time: 4rd of May, 10:00

Place: Meeting in front of the school

On the third and last day of our Golden Week schedule, we will visit the Momochi Seaside beach to catch some sun rays and relax in the warm sand together. Let’s escape the busy and buzzing city area for one day and enjoy the sea, the nature and the shore together at one of Fukuoka’s most famous beach areas. Momochi beach is a one kilometer long stretch of artificial beach at the foot of Fukuoka Tower. At the center of the beach is Marizon, an artificial island featuring restaurants, shops, a wedding hall, and a ferry port with connections to Uminonakamichi Seaside park across Hakata Bay. The beach is a popular spot for swimming and sports such as volleyball and soccer. As May is the month in which Fukuoka’s weather starts to get quite hot, relaxing at the beach is the best thing to do and a worthy finale of our Golden Week program. If you want to, you can bring a volleyball or other games that can be played at the beach. If you are an early-bird you might even bring your swimshorts. Who will be the first one who enters the ocean?

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