Tokyobling's Blog

Kitanogomonren – Awaodori at Mitamamatsuri

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 15, 2014

More photos from the first day of the Mitamamatsuri at Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo. The four day event continues until Wednesday so there’s still plenty of time to see it all! One of the many performances I always try to catch is the awaodori dance by the local team, Kitanogomonren (北の御門連). Few awaodori performances take place at more beautiful places than among the many lanterns of the Mitamamatsuri.

If you are free tonight or tomorrow from 1800 I recommend going to see the festival for yourself!

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Mitamamatsuri Awaodori – Kitanogomonren

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on February 21, 2014

One of the best summer festivals in the capital is undoubtedly the massive three day Mitama Matsuri at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo’s Kudanshita. The last few years the festival goers have been entertained by a great Awaodori performance by the local team, Kitanogomonren (北の御門連). The team was founded by and for people living in and near the Iidabashi, Kudanshita and Fujimi ditricts. I took these photos of their performance at Yasukuni Shrine, beautifully (although very sparingly) lit up by the many lanterns of the festival against the backdrop of the blue beams from the twin searchlights.

It is hard to tell in these photos but the evening was exceptionally hot, with daytime temperatures between 34 and 35 degrees celsius (about 93 degrees F). The dancers somehow managed to give us half an hour of concentrated dancing! Their uniforms must have been soaked afterwards.

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Mitama Matsuri Lanterns

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 23, 2012

Here’s some more snapshots of the fabulously beautiful Mitama Matsuri paper lanterns. You buy these at a special counter and the shrine will then write your name and place them around the shrine grounds on these large wooden frames. The whole image is almost breathtaking at dusk, and it looks fantastic even at night. Some of the visitors were wonderfully dressed up in traditional summer yukata, while others were just plain wonderful. I can’t wait for next years Mitama Matsuri here at the Yasukuni Shrine!




Mitama Matsuri – Painting Wind Chimes

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 16, 2012

Here are some more photos of the second evening of the huge Mitama Matsuri at the Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo. These beautiful ladies were fully concentrated on the task of painting their wind chimes, while the festival rages on behind them (see the guys behind them taking photos). I took a similar image last year, it could be fun to compare maybe. I know the yellow/red tone of these photos might not be popular with other photographers, but I like it! It reminds me of how hot it was, so to me it makes the photos better. Maybe not in a technical sense though.

There was only one male customer painting when I took these pictures, and his daughter had the coolest sun glasses I have seen in a long while! Don’t you agree? I wish I could be that stylish! Today is the last day of the Mitama Matsuri, so make sure you go!




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