A couple of weekends ago I visited the famous Yushima Tenjin (湯島天神) and the grand festival held there annually. There were quite a few local children attending the festival, not surprising since Yushima Tenjin is a shrine dedicated to the Japanese God of learning. I heard one neighborhood chief joke to a group of parents that surely all their children must be admitted to the prestigious Tokyo University after having done so well with the miniature portable shrines! Of course he was joking but it was great fun to follow the festival and to see all the children having a great time in this matsuri (festival). More photos of the festival to come!
Here’s a few photos of kids that I saw at the fantastic Chichibu Night Festival in western Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo, December last year. I think the first photo would do nicely in my “handsome fathers with their kids” ongoing photos project! Maybe I should create a tag for those photos? I also loved how the two cool little men climbed the high wall – sometimes Japanese parents are refreshingly liberal with their kids, not to mention the little girl who took her father’s fan and started to direct the festival float from her spot high up! She was just too adorable not to share with the world! The future of Japan is looking bright! Read more posts about the Chichibu Night festival here!
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!
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!