Yesterday I forewent my usual visit to the second day of the Koenji Awaodori or the Otsuka Awaodori and instead went up to Minamikoshigaya in Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo. I don’t get many chances or reasons to visit the city so on top seeing one of the more famous Awaodori festivals I also get to throw in some sightseeing! There are four major parade grounds on this huge festival attracting about 70 different teams from all over Japan. The grounds are all four lane streets so there’s plenty of space for the dancers and the city throws in sheeting for anyone to sit on along the parade grounds, making this the ideal Awaodori festival for families with kids. There’s also two different stages, one informal stage where you can get right up next to the dancers and one bigger proper stage where I took these photos of the Kimuraren (きむら連). Good lighting, good sound, and a great chance for all the teams to show what they have really been practicing all those winter months!
This festival is a three day event and well worth putting into your calendar for next year, especially if you live in Saitama!
A couple of weeks ago I posted a few snapshots of some very handsome men taken at the Minamikoshigaya Awaodori festival at the end of last month. Here are a few more very good looking guys from the Fujionren, Kioiren, Soka-Oyamaren and finally the world famous Ahoren from Tokushima prefecture. Are they not fantastic looking?
Awaodori is famous for loud music and graceful ladies, but there’s quite a few very handsome men giving their best as well. Here’s a few of the most irresistible guys I could find at the Minamikoshigaya Awaodori festival a little while ago. I have more of these hunks stored up for the coming month! These guys are members of the Kakashiren, Koutaren and Ishinren and the famous, near mythological Ebisuren, respectively Enjoy!
Truly last weekend was heaven on Earth for us Awaodori fanatics. Two huge festivals at the same time, not only Koenji with over a million visitors but also the slightly (just slightly) smaller Awaodori festival in Minamikoshigaya in Saitama prefecture very close to Tokyo. I normally go both days to the Koenji event but this year I split it up and did Sunday in Minamikoshigaya (南越谷). It’s a little bit different from Koenji, not least because of the architecture: where as Koenji is an early post war rambling commercial town Minamikoshigaya is a planned satellite city to Tokyo with huge buildings, long wide roads and big sidewalks. So the festival has a bit of a different character, but with slightly more room and the added attraction of some of the best Awaodori teams in the world coming right up from Tokushima prefecture (the spiritual homeland of Awaodori). It’s a great alternative to the Koenji festival, especially for those in Saitama prefecture. Here’s a few pictures from before the opening, some from the very first team that seemed to consist of rounded up local kids in very very colorful jinbei and yukata with a smattering of very good looking older performers, down to the last photo of the little girl who after two hours of constant dancing was stumbling forward, oblivious to the world and very much half asleep on her feet! Not even the wild cheers of the crowd could wake her up! Adorable.