Heroes in Nejime–the 2015 Dragon Boat Races

Hey Miyazaki, it’s the middle of November already! (How did that happen!?)

It’s a little late now, but we hope everyone had a blast for Halloween–the MAJET Heroes certainly did!

Halloween evening we all met up at the Ohama Seaside Park (map) to check into our cabins. Our cabins were at the top of a really steep hill, but this only meant that we were away from the noise of the road, and that we had a spectacular view of the bay (though it was a bit cloudy).

Cassie and Manu somehow managed to get the barbecues going without anything exploding, and made friends with our cabin neighbors–another Dragon Boat team. Throughout the night our two groups exchanged food and drinks with each other. They were very friendly–one man even offered us onigiri made from freshly grown rice which he had planted and harvested himself! Camping events such as these are always a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

Our barbecue eventually evolved into a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity. Afterwards, the MAJETers headed to bed to rest up for the big day.

Sunday morning we awoke bright and early to get ready for the race. Well, it wasn’t very bright, but it was definitely early. Registration began at 6:30a.m., so we were all getting ready and packing up the cars in the dark, and the sun began to come up as we headed for the race site. After registering, we wandered over to the nearby conbini for some breakfast.

The races were held a week later than usual this year, which apparently made all the difference temperature-wise. The MAJET Heroes spent much of the morning huddled in coats and blankets while we watched the opening ceremony.

There were a total of 87 teams for this year’s event, split up into 12 heats. The MAJET Heroes were in the 9th heat, so we had a bit of time to kill after the opening ceremony. Next to the river was a festival area with tons of food and a performance stage. We enjoyed wandering around the area and eating delicious, hot food while watching the other races. The Japanese participants and guests enjoyed our costumes very much, and several asked to pose for pictures with us. When it was their turn, we cheered on our cabin buddies for their race.

Finally, it was our turn! Our Heroes took their positions and made their way up to the starting line.

While we placed last in our race, we still ganbatte’d and had a great time! After the race, we all spent some time at the nearby onsen before returning home.

The MAJET Heroes had a huge blast, and we hope you’ll come join us for next year’s races!


You can check out the full album on Facebook!

*Photos by Cassie Conrad and Timothy White