Yataimura and the Ishinha theatre group in Nara

I had a pleasant surprise last night during my evening commute. As I rolled back into Nara city, I made a brief stop around Heijo Palace. While I was there I started to hear music coming from a large stage that was being built in the distance.  I decided to go investigate a bit, so I rode down the small dark path in the countryside until I came upon a group of dimly lit wooden stalls that were organized in a circle in front of the large stage.  When I looked around, I saw sake bottles, food stalls, and plenty of people eating and drinking. As the atmosphere was warm and the stalls aesthetically intriguing I decided I could not pass this up, so I went in to find out what was going on.  I asked around and soon found out that this was called “Yataimura” (Stall Village). This was part of the entire theater that was being set up for the Ishinha theater group that will be performing their final show there from October 14th to 24th. The Ishinha is an avant-garde theatre group based out of Osaka that is well known for its archetypal large-scale outdoor performances. As Ishinha's founder Yūkichi Matsumoto died this past June, it was decided that this would be the last performance. Tickets are very hard to come by, but still possible to get. Definitely a must see! Even if its not possible to watch the Ishinha group, the “Yataimura” is entertaining as well, with live music and a circus, plus plenty of warm and friendly people working the various food / drink stalls as well as selling goods. I was fortunate to find this on their warm up night. I definitely shall return!

Smells so good!

Various handmade goods for sale

Plenty of sake available

BBQ shack...that's where it's at....

BBQ'd ribs...an extremely hard find in Nara!

Koji-San, a carpenter by trade... can sure grill up some mean ribs. Thanks Koji-san!

Time for a beer

My choice, craft beer maker Minoh's Pale Ale

That large stage in the back is where Ishinha will perform

They even had a Taco stall!

Magic and plenty of entertainment / activities for kids as well

Hmmm...I wonder what the next commute will bring??


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