This is a bit late but better late than never I suppose...
Every beginning of November Ube City holds the Ube Matsuri. This isn't really a traditional Japanese festival. It's just a festival to celebrate..Ube. As you can see on the poster, this year is the 56th year of the festival. It's a fairly big event as it pretty much closes down the middle of the city on a Sunday. For comparison, here are some photos of how the area where the festival is held looks before the festival:
And here are some shots from during the festival:
This is the World Kitchen -- there are various food booths run by restaurants from around Yamaguchi prefecture and a stage for various types of performers. This year we had comedy duo クワバタオハラ (Kuwabataohara), a yo-yo champion and lots of local singers and dancers.
Notice the blue "Ube" in the background? That's the Ube Industries logo. That will be important later.
More pics from the festival. In order we'll see the flea market, two different dance groups, a crowd shot and..a clown:
There was also a parade. Actually, there were two parades. One in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Some pictures from the morning parade:
And here are some from the afternoon parade (yes, they used the same float). Why are there two parades? Well, the second parade features only people from Ube Industries whereas the first is from different groups and schools. Ube Industries..well, I'll put it this way: If Ube Industries were to disappear, it's very likely that the city of Ube would disappear too. The company is huge, with different offices and factories around the city (they even have their own hospital). For many local factories and companies Ube Industries is their biggest customer. The founder of the company donated the land for Tokiwa Park. So yeah, they get their own parade.
This is pretty much the only yearly event that closes down the middle of the city like this. There are lots of things that I didn't get a chance to take photos of like the live street performances and some other stuff. Not your traditional festival but it's not like there's much else to do around here.