Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Uchinada Kite Festival, Nr Kanazawa

So having not yet been to the nearest beach to Kanazawa (Uchinada) I jumped at the chance of making a trip there during Golden Week for the world famous (apparently..) kite festival. The trip to Uchinada Town is really easy, just hop on the Hokutetsu train (note that the platform is down those huge escalators at Kanazawa station- we ended up walking around KZ station for half an hour looking for the platform) The ride takes about 20 mins and you can't go wrong as Uchinada is the last stop. When you get to Uchinada, come out of the station, hook a left and walk straight (up hill) for about 15 mins and you'll end up at the beach. Easy!

Lots of people had pre-warned me not to get too excited about the beach at Uchinada, mentions of rubbish being washed up to shore from South Korea so my expectations weren't high however it came as a nice suprise, I didn't see one bit of rubbish. the beach is a really nice clean sandy beach, ok we're not talking Florida white sands and unspoilt beauty of the Cornish coast BUT I could definately see me sunning myself there in the summer. I was told yesterday that they're actually building the shinkansen line right next to the beach which explains the rather ugly bridge that you see on your walk down to the beach, so that may spoil the peace slightly having a bullet train shoot past every hour...hmm. Not until 2014 anyway..

The kite festival is pretty small but there's a great atmosphere; an area with food and drink stalls, a mini stage for live music performances (I only heard a girl singing Enka which gave me a right headache) and of course the stunt kite flying and contests.
We saw a few red arrows type synchronised peformances, I've uploaded a video below. Pretty impressive stuff. You can also see some monster kites there and have a go with these gigantic streamer ribbon sticks.

I didn't really follow the contest mainly as commentary was in Japanese, shame as some of the kite stuntmen looked really hardcore! Enjoyed a great picnic in the (sort of..) sunshine though, great day at Uchinada beach all round.

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