It’s a fact: winter in Kyoto is cold. There is nothing to do but hide under the kotatsu and wait for spring blossoms. Or maybe you can pass the time in a cozy スミス英会話 classroom. Here at スミス 英会話 長岡京 we use gas fan-heaters, but we must be careful of condensation and mould. Of course, this is also what makes living in a new culture fun and interesting.
Over the years, I’ve learned a secret or two about enjoying winter here. One of these is to get out and enjoy some of the lively winter festivals on offer. A favourite of mine is the annual Setsubun Festival at Yoshida Shrine. The two-day festival is… a great way to spend some time with your family. There are over 800 stalls serving up your favourite festival foods and activities, as well as a wonderful and frightening demon dance. Little children beware; it is plenty scary!
My favourite part of the festival begins at 11:00 PM on the second night, when hundreds of people gather around for the 火炉祭, a huge bonfire in which old good luck charms are burnt in an offering to the gods. It is an incredible sight to see such a big fire in the middle of the city! Of course, the local fire department is out in full force. They spray the surrounding trees, buildings and the fire itself to keep everything under control. But between the heat of the fire and the crowd of lively people, there is plenty of warmth to go around.
Just a few more weeks of winter – keep warm!