Tanabata Matsuri in Fussa

It’s our last Tanabata Festival in our beloved town of Fussa. We had to leave with a big bang! We prepared our yukatas and enlisted friends to do the same. It was so much fun to immerse into the spirit of the “Star Festival.” Originally, the celebration commemorates the annual meeting of a pair of star-crossed lovers. But for us, it’s a chance to revel in the local foods and enjoy some traditional performances.

It was hot, but the snow cones made it bearable. This year, crazy fries (long fries drizzled with your choice of cheeses, mentaiko or chocolate syrup) were a big hit. The guys were wild for the steak yakitori. They’d get a couple, walk three steps and return for five more.

But my absolute favorite thing was watching the kids in their tiny human yukatas enjoying the games and cotton candy. They were so cute!


Fussa, Tokyo

I remember the first time I walked into my high school. It seemed like the biggest building I’d ever occupied. And then I went to college, and UT’s 40 acres seemed entirely impossible to navigate. Yet, those milestones seem so diminutive in retrospect. Now, here I am at Yokota Air Base – another campus I must learn to circumvent. Between the strict military installation rules and driving on the left side of the road, though, I have a much bigger learning curve ahead of me.

Below are some photos of our time in Fussa thus far. Naturally, there are a lot of food pictures, but you’ll also find some fun things interspersed among them.

Welcome to Yokota!

After a long flight, complete with a short stop in Seattle, we’ve made our way to Japan! While I feel this is the first step to achieving a long-aspired goal, I also approach it with some trepidation. We’re supposed to learn a new way of life, a new language, and a brand new culture! Korean was easy to learn, but Japanese, not so much. Why are there three different alphabets?

But we’ve settled into the Kanto Lodge on Yokota Air Base, and will be calling this place home for the next few weeks.