Last year, when I first arrived, I headed to Nara with the JETs there and we went to the big Obon festival of lights. I didn't know it at the time, but it was called Tokae Festival, and they light up the entire park with pretty little candle lanterns. Some of them are in the shape of kanji, some like a heart, a dear, or what not. We met up with our friend Heidi, who has left JET and was soon heading home. We also met another friend of theirs, who actually dates a girl I met. It was really fun to hang out with them, and wander around one of my favourite places in Japan, Nara Park. I love the hearts and the stars, and Heidi and I took turns posing and taking photos of each other. Most of the grass was full of little lanterns, and it just sparkled! I particularily like the giant kanji in front of the five-tiered pagoda! It just looks perfect! I had to pose in the star, because, well, I'm a physicist and I love stars! I made Josh pose with me in the heart, but he failed at making a heart, taking the mikey out of a coach in the Olympics who also failed to make a heart. You can see the silly clip here : http://i.imgur.com/kc4S5.gif It is basically the story of our relationship - I am always asking him to make a little heart! And usually he does indulge me! We headed over to the big temple, Todaiji, which was open specially for the festival. We had plans to take photos after, but it happened to downpour while we were inside, so we never got any more photos with the lanterns than these! It was a real shame, but we got to see the parts that really mattered. I wish this was done all the time, but I felt so sorry for all the volunteers who had worked so hard and lit all those candles, because it took several hours, and was over in an instant!