July 18-20th was a three-day weekend. Monday was “Umi-no-hi”, or Marine Day (also known as “Sea Day”, or “Ocean Day”.) We live in Gunma Prefecture, which is landlocked, but nonetheless we took advantage of the weekend by enjoying one of the main events of the year in our city, Fujioka Matsuri.
The festival features, dancing, music, parades, food stalls, games, among other things. However, the main events are the “Mikoshi” and “Dashi”. These two events take place on Saturday, and Sunday, respectively.
The “Mikoshi” are portable shrines carried on the shoulders of a team of (usually) men.
The “Dashi” are large, traditional wooden floats that are pulled by ropes and which carry people playing instruments such as drums and flutes. Each one belongs to the a particular neighborhood in the city.
three-day weekend: 三連休 landlocked: 陸地に囲まれている
took advantage: 〜を生かす food stalls: 屋台 among other things: 他にもある
take place: 行われる instruments: 楽器 belongs to: 〜に属する
particular neighborhood: 特定の近所／地区