|The first of nine boats to go out into the water|
I heard that there were supposed to be ten boats and around 1,300 lanterns. We only counted nine boats, one of which just sat toward the back of the bay without putting any lanterns in the water. It was about ten minutes or so into the lantern lighting that we realized that a lot of the lanterns seemed to be floating toward the base. Hmm...wonder if we could get over there for a good view?? So, we packed up and started back to the base.
On our way back past Mikasa Ship we saw several people setting up to perform Bon Odori. So, we stopped to see a few minutes of the performance.
I'm not sure what time we made it back to the base, but we got in our car (which we left by Womble Gate) and drove to the little parking lot beside the post office, then walked to the sea wall. Here's what we saw...
So, I have a question to anyone out there that can answer it...the purpose of Tōrō Nagashi is to help the spirits back to the other world. Well, what happens if all the lanterns get stuck by the sea wall and don't make it out to sea? There were a LOT of lanterns piled up by the wall next to the post office.
I thought this was a beautiful thing to see...Boy didn't agree with me here. And, most of the kids (6 or 7 years and younger) just ran around at the park while all the adults watched and took pictures. It was so quiet over at the park before the music started playing for the Bon Odori. I'm sure glad I just happened to see a post about this a couple hours before it happened!