Many Japanese women wear yukata to star festivals, but since I obviously don't have one just lying around, Michiko let me borrow one of hers, a beautiful bright blue one. Her mother helped me put it on correctly and made sure I was tied in nice and tight. Really tight.
A group of us, foreigners and Japanese, headed off to the festival in the evening and walked though the flood of people (I will never cease to be amazed at just how crowded Japan is - I always feel like I'm a part of a herd of cattle at these kinds of events). There were handmade decorations in front of the stores and lots of food, like okonomiyaki, yakitori, and yakisoba. Even chocolate covered bananas (I bought one, of course).
After walking around and getting quite tired of walking around, we went to an izakaya and enjoyed some drinks and food. It was a great time, with a good mixture of English and Japanese and lots of laughter.
All origami! I can't imagine how long it took to make this...