I rode out on my bike first to make sure the festival was in front of the station where I thought it would be. Then I came back home, put on my yukata (a process that took about half an hour), and walked back to the station area.
Warning: Walking down stairs in geta is not for the faint of heart.
I skipped supper because I figured I could buy some fries or something at the festival. Unfortunately, I only saw one vendor selling fries, and the line was quite long. ALL the lines were long, actually. This is because, although there were TONS of people, there were relatively few vendor stalls. (Fewer than I'm used to from other festivals I've been to, at any rate.) I walked all the way from one end of the festival to the other, which was a fair distance, and then walked back. I thought I would run into some of my students, but I never did, possibly because many of them commute from cities far away.
I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow, if any of the ones I took turned out okay. I'm a bit tired tonight after all the walking around trying to balance on my geta. (I nearly fell more than once. ^_^;)
The parking lot in front of the station was absolutely packed with people. It was hard even to see what the stalls were selling, the lines were so long.
Game stalls were quite popular with children. Most of the games involve trying to scoop something out of a tub of water. The object of this game is to hook a colorful water balloon. (In Japan this is called a "yo-yo" because you loop the string of it around your middle finger and bounce it back and forth by paddling with the palm of your hand--the rubber is tougher than a regular balloon). The trick is that you have to hook the balloon with a paper clip tied to the end of a thin paper string that disintegrates if it touches the water.
Also popular were games in which the aim is to score goldfish or super bouncy balls with a paper scoop.
The food stalls had the longest lines. The one in this picture is selling Korean food, but there were also takoyaki, yakisoba, and a number of other offerings.