On Wednesday we drove to the small island of Himeshima for Obon celebrations. Obon is a three-day national holiday commemorating dead ancestors, whose spirits are believed to return and visit their relatives during this time. Lanterns are lit in front of houses to guide the spirits, and locals will dress up and perform various types of dances.
We went with some Japanese friends, and when looking for something to eat before the performances we wondered into a shop. After saying that we were struggling to find somewhere to eat dinner, the proprietors invited us into their backyard to join their family's meal. They welcomed us to the table and served us sausages, shrimp, fried pumpkin and aubergines from their barbecue, as well as onigiiri (rice balls), Himeshima mochi and of course beer. The shrimp, くるまえび, is apparently famous for its size, rainbow coloured complexion, and taste. This family of fishermen had caught it just that day, and after taking off the shells gave it to us raw - unsurprisingly it was delicious. They told us they would normally sell those shrimp for ¥700 or £5 a piece at market.
The hospitality aside, this encounter was most memorable for the chance to listen to the voice of the old fisherman. He had fewer teeth than fingers, and those fingers formed part of two huge, weathered, fishermen's hands that seemed the harbinger of all kinds of stories. He had this incredible voice that carried the old songs of the dead, part of the island's folklore. Unfortunately this recording barely does him justice. Another example of Japanese hospitality 🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 #姫島#九州#おぼん#日本#obon#himeshima#kyushu#japan#japanhospitality