Two Wassamu Summer Festivals in a row2日連続夏まつり ~短い夏をエンジョイせよ!~

~Blog by Akane~

I said I’d write about my “Culture Shock #2” in my next blogpost, but I apologise. I’d like to just quickly report how much fun I had in two summer festivals in Wassamu during the weekend.

The first summer festival, or in Japanese, “Natsu Matsuri” was on Saturday, held by the small residential area community where I live. This part of Wassamu is relatively urban part of Wassamu, with shops nearby and public housings. Kazuki lives just behind my house, so we went to the Matsuri together.

We were hungry, so bought shaved ice cups and yakisoba noodles. Then we found a Hokkaido-sized seats on a comfortable straw mat and low tables to start relaxing to the fullest. There were many people although the community is not that big, and the nice traditional-style Japanese ballad (enka songs) were being played… Or at least I thought its CD was being played there with good speakers. But it was actually sung by the amateur singers of this community! They were such great singers, and the stage they were singing on was an improvised truck-stage with electricity line for speakers and microphones! Ah, Wassamu farmers, you have everything you need for work and entertainment…! I was truly impressed.

Not a good resolution photo since it was taken by my small mobile phone camera. However, the stage was great and so were the singers!

Listening to the songs and the talks of the people on stage, I was totally relaxed and in my euphoric mood. Then a smiling fire-fighter gentleman approached us and said hello, and politely gave us a pack of grilled chicken! We thanked him, and ate them and got full… What a happy moment.

Then the lottery time. We met an old lady Kazuki knows, and talked and I was surprised to find out she is 87 years old. Cheerful and curious, I respected her. Another old lady who seemed much older than the first lady was sitting next to me, and I took the prize she got at the end for her. She was very kind to me and talked with firm, polite tone of the voice. She thanked me for getting her the prize, and I imagined she probably lives alone and yet her mind and eye-sight so clear. Would I be able to be like her after 60 years? I couldn’t help respecting her.

The second festival I went to was on Sunday from the morning. “Wassamu Summer Festival” was the Natsu-Matsuri that involved the entire Wassamu Town, and this year, approximately 5000 people have come not only from within Wassamu but even from Nayoro (about 50km north of Wassamu) and Sapporo.

There were many attractions to the site, from the food and drinks to games and mobile zoo, and the Japanese Beetle Fishing. I particularly enjoyed the little zoo section, because I love animals so much! There were chicks,  ducks, great white pelican, gunea pigs, mini-pig, tortoise, rabbits, meerkat and goats. But it was very hot, so I felt sorry for the animals being touched by children. Hope they could rest well after getting back to North Safari Sapporo Zoo. (

The most popular part of this festival is the Beetle Fishing. Children love to queue up to catch the Japanese rhinoceros beetles by a threat with a small metal paperclip at the end. Costs 300 yen and some families got like 10beetles! The total number of the beetles gathered for the event was 1200. Wow. That was great.

Beetles in a wooden box to be fished! Kazuki and Toshiki preparing them.

I helped the Commerce and Industry Association of Wassamu as a staff to keep the beetles people had until they leave the festival site in the afternoon. Yes, I was a beetle cloakroom receptionist. I met like 500 people at least to check-in the beetles, then return the beetles as they left. The people, especially the children who came with boxes of beetles were good and polite people, and Ialso enjoyed working with the member of the association.

A boy trying to catch a beetle!

With Mr.Satoh, a memebr of Wassamu Commerce and Industry Associate. A great supporter of Wassamu Youth Leaders project, too.
With the Beetle Man
Goats and a great white pelican who came all the way from Sapporo to Wassamu on a truck via motorway...

So, I had a great weekend. I could eat, drink and meet new people. I had fun. Satisfied. Getting used to Wassamu. 

The summer in Hokkaido is short. In a couple of weeks, the temperature will start to decrease, the breeze getting cooler. People here enjoy summer as much as they can to prepare for the freezing cold, long snowy winter season.

Thank you for reading.

See you soon!



どうして気が変わったかというと、そうです… 先日の土日は和寒で夏まつりに2連チャンで行き、とても楽しかったからです。そろそろ、物欲にまみれた都市生活の毒素が抜けてきて、畑が青々とし、空が美しければ十分嬉しく、何か音楽がちょっとかかっていておいしい食べ物が登場するだけでウキウキ出来る、地方型エンジョイ体質に変化してきているのかもしれません。













北海道の夏は短い・・・ お盆を過ぎれば、即座に涼しい風に切り替わり、後は「しばれる(ガンガンに凍て付く)」冬に向かってまっしぐらです。