Curious about an event advertised in several stations along Ome Line in the western part of greater Tokyo, my husband and I headed to Fussa in our colorful yukata one fine summer day to see what it was about.
Just one stop after Hamura Station, we got off the train and were immediately greeted by colorful lanterns in various designs and shapes. We were mesmerized by the 360-degree transformation Fussa Station had undergone from a quiet and almost deserted place into a merry one filled with colors, lanterns, people, music and activities in every corner and turn of the street. Never had I seen so many people in my entire stay near the area, all thanks to Tanabata (Star Festival), that takes place annually, usually in the first week of August. Lanterns in different shapes, sizes, colors and designs were hanging all over the area just a few inches above our heads. There were interactive and moving lanterns bearing some Japanese symbolic pictures, scenes and characters. There were several toys, food and drink stalls lining the main streets, so we got to enjoy the event and at the same time, never got hungry, too.