Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Harvest Festival 第17回 国際交流ふれあい農園収穫祭

On September 4th, I had the opportunity to go to the 17th annual International Harvest Festival in Fukuchiyama. The Seika Global Network, an international exchange organization in Seika, organized a trip and kindly asked me to come. And of course I’m not going to say no to a festival. The festival was packed to the brim with kids, international residents, and people looking to learn and interact in an open environment.


The event started off with Nagashi-somen, where you have to catch somen noodles as they flow down a bamboo gutter. It was a lot of fun battling for the noodles with the kids next to me, but thankfully there was more than enough for everybody to have some.

Nagashi Somen 流しそうめん 第17回 国際交流ふれあい農園収穫祭

Next up was the mochi-making; a traditional Japanese activity that everyone, from the Japanese kids to the international visitors had a chance to try. Basically, you use a large wooden hammer, and smash rice in a wooden bowl, while a partner keeps the rice together and wet. I wasn’t exactly the most skilled mochi-maker, and I may have nearly hit a few people on the back swing, but it was still a lot of fun. Plus, we got to eat the mochi we helped make afterwards!

Kai Making Mochi カイ 餅つき 第17回 国際交流ふれあい農園収穫祭

During all of this there were dances, games, and farming activities like sweet potato picking that everybody got involved in. I was really impressed with how outgoing many of the kids were at the festival, and I was often invited by them to take part in the games or activities. It was also a great chance for international residents to meet and greet, and I had the chance to speak with a group of girls from China, a woman from Argentina, and a guy from Ohio in the states!


The festival finished off with a BBQ, and performances ranging from flamenco dancing to Japanese Taiko. Unfortunately our group had to leave before the fireworks, but it was still a great day. If you have any interest in getting involved with the Seika Global Network and their events and activities, check out the link below.



  1. Kai,

    You may want to link to Norman's Sister City organization PASSPORTS wiki http://passports.pbworks.com/FrontPage . I'm not the best at updating it, but it does show some of the things we are doing throughout the year.

    Marles Bradley
    President, PASSPORTS

  2. More than happy too. I'm glad you found the website. I had been meaning to send an e-mail letting you know about it, but you beat me to it. If there's anything else about Norman or PASSPORTS you want me to add or edit, just let me know.