February 11th is National Foundation Day here in Japan and is a national holiday. However not being a Japanese school we don't observe that many of the national holidays so on my way to work this morning I saw people getting ready for the day's celebrations. Many groups of people were preparing their 'Mikoshi' (portable shrines) which they would later carry upon their shoulders as they paraded down the street. I missed the parade itself as I was working but we could certainly hear the banging of drums and clanging of symbols.
We finished work early today so I could take Jazz and Dixie on a nice afternoon walk in the winter sun. We walked over to the 'pony park' and back and ended up in Komazawa dog run were we met three other beagles!