Natsumatsuri and Suika Wari - like a local

During the summer, other than going to the beach and pool, there are two things that I love to do:

1) Go to natsumatsuri (summer festival). These are festivals held throughout the country to celebrate the summer season. Many Japanese women wear yukata (traditional Japanese summer clothing) (men usually wear casual clothing, although some may wear a yuakata for men). There are many stalls along the street where children and adults can play games such as kingyosukui (catching gold fish) and ball-sukui (catching super-balls). There are also stores selling masks, fans, etc. I love natsumatsuri because of its delicious food - yakisoba, okonomiyaki, shaved ice, chocolate-covered banana, potato with melted butter, etc. A definite must-do when visiting Japan in the summer and enjoying summer like a local!

2) Suika (watermelon) is the fruit of the summer. The cool and fresh taste of the watermelon is perfect for the hot, humid summers in Japan. A game that many children do during the summer is "suika-wari." This is when a child has a stick or a bat is blindfolded and has to try to hit the watermelon so that it splits for everyone to eat. The other children guide him to the watermelon. This is an excellent game for the summer months!

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