Last weekend I visited the awaodori festival held every year in Hatsudai, not very far from the heart of Tokyo, near both Shinjuku and Shibuya. The Hatsudai festival is always a little melancholic for us awaodori lovers in Tokyo as it is the last of the bigger awaodori festivals in the city (the last big awaodori festival of the region is in Kawasaki next weekend). The festival in Hatsudai is still small and cozy enough to have small town feel to it and the participating teams are relatively small. One of the teams taking part this year was the Ootoriren, a very small team with a lot of energy! I saw several members from the Sancharen taking part as well so I think they had a lot of backup this time!
This year’s festival was the 44th, and you can tell Hatsudai has a long tradition with this form of dance, as they have no less than six local teams of their own! I am already looking forward to the 45th festival next year!
I haven’t had any Awaodori related posts for a long time, so here’s some of the photos I took on the fun loving Otoriren at the Hatsudai Awaodori Festival a couple of months ago. I don’t know anything about this particular group because even with my considerable skills in Google-fu I can’t find their homepage. Maybe some reader might find it? The Hatsudai Awaodori Festival is one the more well know Awaodori festivals in central Tokyo and is especially family friendly due to the broad street where the festival takes place. Arrive early, put out a plastic sheet, set up a pic-nic and await the start of the fun! You don’t even have to bring food and drinks, as the local merchants set up over a hundred different food stands with excellent food and drinks for all ages! The Awaodori festival season is over for this year, and it makes me a little nostalgic to look at these pictures. Still, it’s only about half a year until the Awaodori festival seasons starts again!
The last two months have been heaven for us Awaodori dance fans here in Tokyo! Last weekend there was the annual festival in Hatsudai, making it the possibly the most centrally located of the major awaodori festivals. It is a two day event but I only had time to visit on the first day, but I would have loved to have seen the second day as well as there was a bit of rain to make it all interesting! These photos are of the Kurenairen (紅連) and some of their coolest dancers and musicians. Isn’t that smile on the girl in fifth photo just wonderful! I think she is just in the middle of singing that famous awaodori song phrase “やっぱり、おどりはやめられない”, “after all, I can’t stop dancing” (in my own poor translation).
Last week I visited the Awaodori festival in Hatsudai. I usually never have time to go to that particular festival but this year I was lucky enough to be able to go. It might be a long time before I get a chance to go again. Hatsudai is friendly little place right in the shadow of Shinjuku in central Tokyo. It’s so small and off the major train lines that it’s easily forgotten, but thanks to a cool community and great events like this awaodori festival it’s getting more and more famous even in Tokyo. The festival takes place along the local shotengai, shopping street, and has two stages for set performances by the teams. Naturally I spent most of my time at the street, enjoying the dances and the music.
One of the teams I noticed, partly because of their cool uniforms, were the Awaodori Tamaki, that had a good mix of young and old. The first photo is my favorite, isn’t his face great? I under exposed these deliberately, to get a slightly different feel from my other brighter and more colorful awaodori photos. The under exposed photos match the rather monochrome unfiforms of this team.