If you are in Tokyo or Saitama today and have no plans – head over to the Western Saitama city of Chichibu and enjoy their massive Night Festival, the Chichibuyomatsuri (秩父夜祭)! One of the few full on festivals taking place in the winter here in Kanto. This year is exceptionally cold so that means even thinner crowds for those of you that prefer to be around fewer people. I was there last night and took these pictures. Last night was the teaser for the main event which takes place tonight, when all of the huge (they really are much bigger than normal) dashi (festival carts) come out. Last night there were only three of these monsters being puller around the little town of Chichibu but fantastically looking young members of the community. The carts are very expensive and decked out in perfectly with paper lanterns containing real candles. I’ll post more photos later on, but for now please enjoy these handsome men and the gorgeous young ladies taking part in one of the best festivals of the Kanto area! There’s even going to be fireworks! Getting there is a little complicated, it’s about two hours on the local trains from Ikebukuro, or you can splash out on the express which is faster but more expensive. Well worth the trip though!
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.