On the afternoon of October 25, the MAJET dragonboat teams made their way to Minami Osumi in Kagoshima in preparation for the 2014 Nejime Dragonboat Races. We all met up at the Ohama Beach Park for an evening of barbecuing and nonsense. Our cabins were at the top of a very steep hill. While it was difficult to drive up (one car had to be pushed!), the view at the top was pretty amazing.
Our cabins had their own barbecue tables, and as night fell we passed the time eating delicious food and enjoying pleasant conversation. Aside from a brief mukade encounter and a few small lizards, the night was fairly calm.
As the night wore on, some of us convened in one of the cabins for a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, and eventually we all found our way to our beds and slept, as we had to wake up very early Sunday morning for the true purpose of our adventure.
Sunday morning we woke bright and early. Well… early at least. It wasn’t yet light out when we all sleepily got into our team costumes and made our way to the race site. After registering our teams, we waited for a bit before witnessing the Shinto ritual performed before the races began.
Hakuna Matata was up in the second race. They mustered up all the strength of the jungle and plowed their way through the waters with all their might, earning themselves a respectable rank of 55 out of 86 teams.
As we waited for 1-Up’s turn, we wandered around the event area. There were a lot of people from different places. Some teams wore matching uniforms, while others wore costumes even more elaborate than our own!
We even ran into the Kagoshima AJET group, and enjoyed a bit of banter between races.
At one point, a group of children happened upon our group’s two Pikachu, who then sportingly entertained them to the tune of Youkai Watch. It was all sorts of adorable.
Eventually, it was 1-Up’s turn. They activated their highest skills and used their strongest attacks to gain a solid rank of 64 out of 86 teams.
After the races, some of us retired to the onsen to refill our HP bars and calm our jungle fever, while others enjoyed the festival atmosphere. Eventually, we all started making our ways back home to the Land of the ‘Zak. In all, it was a truly great experience for everyone!
You can check out the full album on our Facebook group! (sorry, you’ll need to be a member of our group to see the photos)
Until our next adventure! またね！
*Photos by Cassie Conrad