Winter is tough for us Awaodori lovers, there’s not a festival in sight, no drums to be heard, no cries of “Yatto yatto!” to announce the arrival of the Awaodori dancers. Here’s a team that I caught for the second time that year, here in the Shimokitazwa Awaodori festival, in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward. This team looks brand new but is in fact one of the old kids on the block, formed in 1973 to promote the shops at Nodai Street (農大通り), here they are performing to promote another shopping street not that far away from their home turf! The Kyoudou Murasakiren (経堂むらさき連) is really good fun to watch and I caught them right in the best spot to snap their photos. Enjoy!
Back in 1578, the same year the very first Thanksgiving was celebrated in North America, another tradition started in the small village of Setagaya, in what is today central Tokyo. The warlord and daimyo (feudal lord) of Odawara, Hojo Ujimasa, declared that a twice yearly market would be held in the village. Since then the market has never failed to deliver and people still visit there to shop for antiques, food, plants and clothes. The only thing that has changed really is the number of visitors, which today numbers at about 200 000 visitors per day, or 800 000 a year. Not bad for a flea market! I doubt there were 200 000 visitors today though, as the unseasonable cold and hard rain made it bit less than pleasurable to wander through the market. The market is probably one of the best flea markets in Japan and well worth a visit if you are into antiques or plants, or just like browsing and looking around. There’s also plenty of food stalls selling everything from local specialities to kebabs. So if you are free in Tokyo today and looking for something to do, I recommend heading over to the Setagaya! You can get there easily from Sangenjaya station either by the little Setagaya line or you can walk if you have the energy, it’s not too far I think.
Please pardon my photos, it was nearly impossible to get anything half decent with solid white skies, rain pouring down and people jostling around me while trying to keep my camera under my umbrella. I’ll just write this post’s photos off as a total failure and post something nicer tomorrow. Sorry! If you were there and got some nice photos please share in the comments! Oh, and if you are planning to go there today to take photos, please note that many of the stall owners don’t like to have their stalls photographed. It might be best to ask before you snap away!
More pictures of the wonderful Shinoburen (しのぶ連 or 忍連) at last months Shimokitazawa Awaodori festival in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward. Can’t get enough of this group and their superbly timed dancing. They really work hard to make the most use of the long stretch of road in their dances with some more intricate maneuvers. Enjoy!
At the annual Awaodori festival in Shimokitazawa the Shinoburen (しのぶ連 or 忍連) did a great performance as usual. For some reason I always end up with pretty decent shots of this group’s performance. They have some excellent drummers and a wide range of talented dancers and I guess they are one of the most famous Awaodori groups out of Suginami ward in central Tokyo.I took these with my Nikon D700 and 50mm prime lens combination. More photos to come this week of this excellent group! Enjoy!