More photos from the mini Nebuta Matsuri in Tokyo’s Shibuya district last weekend! The first time I saw the nebuta matsuri was here in Shibuya, and I didn’t really get the costumes or the strange melody of the flutes, but the more I see it the more I get it and now I think I am hooked. One of these days I have to make my way up north to Aomori prefecture and see this festival “in the wild”!
Just like last year (see my blog here and here) Shibuya threw a mini-Nebuta Matsuri this weekend. You might remember the posts about the much bigger Nebuta Matsuri in Western Tokyo last month. The floats in this mini festival is much smaller than the real things but still look pretty impressive. The strangely addictive Nebuta flutes and drums really helped setting the amotsphere and the kids sent down from a high school and a university in Aomori prefecture were as lively as always!
Last weekend I was rushing to be in time for the Kitamachi Awaodori festival in Tokyo’s northern Nerima Ward and managed to get a good spot right in front of the famous Aoishinren (葵新連) awaodori dance team. It must have been some sort of delay because they teams all spent quite a lot of time waiting to start the show and since I had nothing better to do I tried to take some (for me anyway) unusual snapshots of awaodori dancers warming up. I don’t know if they were nervous or not, I know I would have been, but this team at least is very experienced so maybe they were very cool about it. I tend to remember the performances by this team due to the many unusually talented younger dancers.
We’re right in the middle of the peak of the Awaodori season and it seems like there’s a handful of different festivals going on every weekend in the greater Tokyo area. It’s really tough on the awaodori maniacs, like me. I don’t know what it is, but the sound of the flute and the drums just trigger something inside me that makes me smile! Is Awaodori addictive? I think it is, at least for me!
Most, but not all Awaodori festivals (yes, I know, it’s my favorite subject again!), end in wonderful set performance, and usually that set performance ends with the audience being invited to join in the dance. At the Kyodo matsuri the other week I saw one of my favorite awaodori teams, the Tokyo Ebisuren, and their final set performance. Two little girls next to me were overjoyed to be invited in the dance and at the end they were actually jumping around with joy! Having many nieces I know how important it is for most little girls to play with older girl, especially if they are as beautiful and fun as the girls in the Tokyo Ebisuren!