*Warning* Picture heavy! My browser actually froze a couple times while I was writing this.This is probably because I just can’t decide what looks most delicious…

Although most of these posts are probably going to be about me making something, there will also be moments when I talk about food I ate, and yesterday was very food heavy.

As with any “祭” or “fesitval” there will be food and performances, and the JCF was no exception. There were activities for all ages (although I think the older people probably focused more on the food). There were musical performances by local bands and performers, which included “Miyabi” a local group of artists that play traditional Japanese instruments, such as the koto and shamisen. The Kendo Club was also featured, although I didn’t participate even though I’m a part of it (-goes and hides-).

JSA also created some activities, which included the “Chopstick Challenge”. People, in this challenge, supposedly never used chopsticks before, and had to pick up large gummies from one bowl and drop them into another. The next activity was “Nininbaori”. This, by far, made me laugh hardest.

Nininbaori, as you may be able to tell from the photo above, is when two people are draped in a large piece of material with large arm holes in the side for one pair of arms. The person in the front puts their head through the hole for the head and keep their arms in the material while the other person is kneeling behind the first person, but is blind and can only use their arms. The pair is given then some sort finger food on a plate (in this case, a donut). The person in the back must then attempt and feed the person in the front (without being able to see anything, including where the donut is and where their partner’s mouth is) quickly in order to beat the challengers with the same handicap next to them. As you can probably imagine, it got messy but was very amusing when one of the people in the back missed the mouth and got powdered sugar all over their partner’s face and hair.

There were also other activities, which included ring-toss, with Japanese snacks as prizes, water balloon catch, origami, calligraphy, and manga-drawing tutorials.

The other performances were interesting, but nothing particular stood out. A local band (called October Babies, featured below) played as well as JAPALAVA and a self-created JSA band. Unfortunately, I missed Miyabi’s performance since I was busy pigging out in the other atrium.

Speaking of pigging out, I’ve finally gotten to the part that is the feature of this blog. The FOOD! Here’s the complete menu.

Yakisoba. It wasn’t bad at all despite my horrible photo (I was holding a cup of tea and a flyer while trying to take a photo of this thing). Mostly vegetables and some chicken in fried noodles.

Takoyaki. I had these for the first time when I visited Kyoto in Japan, and although these can’t compare, I still love takoyaki pretty much from anywhere. Most of the people that attended JCF were there for the fresh takoyaki as well, considering how some people actually waited about half an hour while the JCF volunteers made fresh batches.

Needless to say, I finished it pretty quickly…

There was also Oshiruko, which is rice cakes in red bean soup, but I didn’t get that since it looked “shady”, as my friend, B, pointed out.

Snow cones were also available (after all, it is a matsuri, even though it’s only the beginning of spring here). My friend, M, got this topped with mangos and Calpico although you could also have strawberries and other berries.  I would have gotten it if it wasn’t about 10C outside.

M enjoying her snow cone.

I opted for the other option of the Choco banana. It was, needless to say, delicious. M also got one, and topped hers with sprinkles with a side of whipped cream while I preferred regular chocolate syrup and ice cream. I’m a bit worried now since I feel like I’ll never want a regular banana again after having this.

Chadou (Japanese Tea Ceremony) was also performed in a corner of the hall, and it was tempting to snap pictures every second, but I didn’t. It was very interesting to watch, but, because I only do kendo, I don’t know the specifics of the tea ceremony so I won’t pretend to be an expert. Everything was beautiful though, and everyone seemed to enjoy it, although matcha isn’t quite everyone’s cup of tea–literally.

Spectators were also allowed to drink and partake in the snacks (but only if you were sitting down). I was standing and obnoxiously snapping photos every few seconds, so I didn’t get an offer (sadly ;_;).

They had some very exquisite bowls…

This is my second year attending the JCF, although the first year, I was really only interested in the takoyaki. If anyone’s visiting UM this time of year, I’d definitely recommend attending this event! The JSA spends months preparing for this event, and it pays off because everything’s fairly organized, and everyone, including the volunteers enjoy themselves. Some people may have even enjoyed themselves too much…-laugh-