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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

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Artist gather at Kintai Bridge for Festival

By Lance Cpl. J. Gage Karwick | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni | November 03, 2012

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A Japanese man dressed in ceremonial attire performs for a crowd during the Kintai Art Festival near the Kintai Bridge Nov. 3, 2012. When the dance finished, the same location was later used to display a congratulatory monument to the completion of the Iwakuni Kintai-kyo Airport.

A Japanese man dressed in ceremonial attire performs for a crowd during the Kintai Art Festival near the Kintai Bridge Nov. 3, 2012. When the dance finished, the same location was later used to display a congratulatory monument to the completion of the Iwakuni Kintai-kyo Airport. (Photo by Lance Cpl. J. Gage Karwick)


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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Those who traveled near the Kintai Castle Saturday found themselves in a breathtaking scene of Japanese culture and art.

The annual Kintai art festival hosted many attractions, such as Taiko drummers, flute players, dancers, flower displays and the scenic view of bamboo lanterns lining the streets leading to the Kintai Bridge.

Imagine hailing a taxi from the station and making its way to the Kintai Bridge. As the cab arrives, the passenger gets out, and grabs a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants to pass some time or pays the 300 yen toll to cross the Kintai Bridge and grab some ice cream. Then, he travels through the park and sees the sights.

As night falls, lights on the other side of the Kintai Bridge can be seen in the distance.

So, the bridge is crossed again to investigate. Carved bamboo lanterns with candles inside line the streets; drummers assemble across the street in traditional attire as they make their way to the first arch of the Kintai Bridge. Cameras flash as the performers beat their drums, dance and sing in unison as the crowd is struck speechless with awe.

Set in an exhibition on its own, a monument of sorts stands dedicated to the opening of the new Iwakuni Kintai-kyo Airport.

A vibrant display of candles, lit and hidden, in the depths of hollowed bamboo lanterns create the dimly-lit atmosphere as the candles illuminate an inflated balloon airplane hung above the congratulatory sign. The castle and bridge are alluring sights on their own accord and attract numbers too many to count each year. Though it cannot be determined if everyone enjoyed the festival, one could find it hard to resist the sounds of the drums in the distance calling passers-by ever closer.
Image ImageIwakuni ImageKintai Bridge Art Festival

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