Looking for a peaceful retreat from Tokyo, I headed to the Izu Peninsular. I found Ks House in Ito. An historical maze of wood, stone and tatami.
Looking out from the balcony of my room over the river, I had no idea the very next day I would be sailing down it inside a wooden tub!
I happened to visit Ito on the same weekend as the Matsukawa River Tub Race. A tradition held once a year since the 1950s. Somehow, I was talked into participating.
The race begins with a ceremonial race of the winners of previous years.
But even the winners are not ensured success. In the end, it all depends on the flow of the river.
The international team had been made up from weekend visitors to the area. Here we all are lined up ready to go.
The rest of the team quickly takes the lead.
I am left behind trying to catch up with the tiny paddles.
Unfortunately two members fell in, but this meant I came third in my group.
At the end of the day, I didn’t win, but I didn’t get wet. I intend to come first next year!
It was discovered that the people of Rieti in Italy have a similar tradition of racing down the Velino river in wine barrels.
The towns now have an agreement of friendship.
At the Ito event I could sample a few Italian bites as well as the traditional Japanese foods.
All in all, an exciting opportunity and a wonderful day.
For a more detailed account of this event, take a look at this post.
Interested in vintage Japanese items? Take a look at my shop: FurugiStar