September 22: A "Thank-you-party" of the 25th YMF   by Mie

One and a half months passed since the 25th Yufuin Music Festival (YMF) was over in success. Yufuin valley has turned into deep autumn now. As typhoon No.18 is waiting at off Okinawa to move northward, we had a heavy rain until this evening. Here in Yufuin, we have a "thank-you-party" for the Festival. We arrived first to the restaurant. Many beautiful dishes were already set on the table.
Most volunteer staff of the festival got in the restaurant as scheduled. Mr. Masakuni Kato, general secretariat of the Festival, makes a few words, "Thank you all for your cooperation to have a wonderful festival as usual. It was very successful." We soon pop open bottles of champagne presented from Mr. Kunpei Mizoguchi, the representative of YMF.
Another toast was presented to Yuko Hino, our young female staff. She has been marrying for just four days. A big bouquet was presented to her. All YMF staff hopes her to create a wonderful home.

We usually have buffet-style dinner parties for the Festival, but we have an unusual party in a purely Japanese style this evening at a Sushi restaurant. Beautiful dishes included fresh Sashimi of hairtail, Sushi, Tempura, broiled eggplant assorted with soybean paste, and Chawanmushi (a savory steamed egg custard with assorted ingredients.)

Mr. Kentaro Nakaya, a prominent leader of Yufuin, presented a case of beer bottle that boosted pleasant chatting here and there. I enjoyed chatting with Ms. Naoko Ono and Mr. Matsumoto.

Now the party is closing. Mr. Kato and Mr. Sato measure the timing to end up. Finally, two young volunteers proposed a toast, stressing "We will make our greatest efforts for the coming Festival." All the attendants exchanged yells.
Well, go up to another drinking party! The rain stopped and insects are chirping in the dark.

Sushi bar Kiraku: Yufuin Kawakami Otomaru 2, phone 0977-84-3751

Mr. Kato showed up to a cozy bar named "ingbar" run by Mr. Otani, one of the YMF staff. The black-and-white check of the stairs is unusual.

The bar is a favorite resort for YMF staff. Mr. Otani (right) and Mr. Keita Fuchino (left), both of them joined the first party soon turned the counter for preparing drinks. "How many kinds of wines and spirits do you have on the shelves?" "I don't know", Mr. Otani echoed.
Again, toasts repeated wishing for the further development of the YMF. Pleasant chatting went on endlessly.
I talked with Mrs. Kubota who runs a small inn in Yufuin. She is planning to have a small concert in her inn and asked me to help her. I hope I can do something for the plan. As night goes on, we said good-bye to the second party and headed home. I am looking forward to seeing all of you in the 26th YMF next year.

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