Before the Ashikaga fireworks festival, there was a festival in the town I live in!

 

It was small, but it was a good chance to walk around and get to know this tiny city better!

The weekend after, we went to Utsunomiya (the capital of my prefecture), and visited a shrine (and a department store).

       

When you enter a shrine, it’s like entering another world. The city, though right outside its door, disappears completely (save for the skyscraper that looms overhead). It’s a strange dichotomy–the old and the new together. They want both, but the result is often more than confusing.

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