Student Life in Kyoto: My Japanese Sports Day (運動会) - Adventures of Anette

Monday, October 10, 2011

Student Life in Kyoto: My Japanese Sports Day (運動会)

This Sunday my landlord gave me the opportunity to participate in the local sports day, or undōkai (運動会) as it is called in Japanese.
Since today, Monday the 2nd of October, is a national holiday dedicated to sports, there are usually a lot of sports days taking place all over Japan in the weekends before and after this date.
The sports day I participated in was situated not that far from the little valley I live in, which situated north of the famous temple Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺), better known as The Golden Pavilion.
People from the whole ward was participating in the sports day (Named after the place, the arrangement was called 金閣学区民体育祭), and I competed alongside with my neighbors in Haradani (原谷), the place where I live.
This was actually my first time to participate in a sports day in Japan, and I think it was quite exciting! I got to meet all my neighbors, and to compete against people from my community in a wide range of activities.
Haradani Hokubu

People gathered for the opening speach
Most of the competitions involved a bit of running, which suited me just fine. And since the competitors received some prizes depending on their results in the competitions, I actually got a lot of Japanese food to take with me home afterward as well. Lucky!
The age of the participants varied a lot, but I guess there was most kids or people over thirty. So I guess I had an advantage there.
The only time things didn`t go so well, was in the competition where we had to run and pick up a random paper board with a word for an object written on it, and then had to find a person carrying that object. Lucky me got a sign where it said 30 000 yen.. I mean, almost nobody goes around with that amount on them, that's close to 400 dollars.. So, I have to admit I lost badly on this one.
But still, I had a lot of fun. It's all about participating, right?! ;)
One of the running contests
The sports day`s brochure
Lunch break
The obentou we got for lunch was really delicious!

Members from Haradani Hokubu
After the undōkai we had an afterparty with the rest of the neighborhood where we had delicious Japanese food, and since there was still good left when the party was over we even got the chance to take some with us home. So now I will have great Japanese food for lunch for a couple of days:D I certainly wish there was more undōkais coming up:p
Tug of war
The kids are running for candy!
Ball-throwing contest!
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who'd gladly trade a trip to the shoppingmall for a hike in the forest any day.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette


The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff.
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