It’s September 1st and the official end of the Japanese summer but someone must have neglect to pass this information on to the weather Gods. It’s as blisteringly hot as always. Last week I visited the Awaodori festival in Koenji and managed to break a couple of photographic records, over 6000 shots! This means that I am a bit backlogged in the old editing department so in the meantime I’ll show you some more of the amazing people who took part in the Shimokitazawa Awaodori festival last month. I was editing some of these when a coworker passed by and said I had to use first picture, with the happy girl, because of her wonderful energy! Naturally I did, and found some more of people literally glowing with positive energy. I think this Awaodori is becoming like a drug to me, I just love the energy I feel when I see these parades! Sadly, I missed the Otsuka Awaodori festival on the 26th, but I bagged both days of the Koenji festival, 28th and 29th, and will attend one of the days of the Hatsudai festival later this month, 22nd or 23rd. If you see a wildly smiling crazy foreign blogger in the crowd, stop and say hello!
In the meantime, please enjoy these lovely Japanese. Japan has great food, safe nights out, wonderful weather (well….) and interesting culture, but it really is the people who make this country what it is! Most of these pictures are of the (purple) Kyoudou Murasaki-ren, a fantastic group from Tokyo’s Setagaya district (経堂むらさき連). As usual, click the images for best size and focus!
In Shimokitzawa I found this beautiful little senbei shop, Tamaiya (玉井屋) just at the start of the North Exit shopping street, Ichibangai. There are quite a few of these old rice-cracker shops left here and there in Tokyo but I wonder for how much longer. Usually they are in prime real estate location and the next time I pass here I hope it’ll still be around. Every jar contains a different cookie and I think it might be difficult for the average tourist to shop here since all the prices are in kanji (Chinese characters) but generally you can get a small bag of something for no more than 500 yen. If you like hard (sometimes teeth-shatteringly hard) crackers with salt, soy or sea-weed flavor, these kinds of stores are definitely for you! You can buy cheaper but factory made crackers in all convenience stores and super markets as well, but these little shops are far more worthy of our cracker money!
By pure coincidence I happened to be passing a horse riding event (well, I was on my way to another horse riding event actually) when I saw something you don’t see every day in Tokyo: mounted police officers in ceremonial uniforms. I just had to stop and take some pictures. Now, I love horses, I love uniforms, and anyone who has followed this blog knows that I love to photography handsome police officers at work, so this is pretty much very close to heaven for me. Four mounties were giving test rides to kids and I just had to show you their smiles. Look at them – they are the happiest kids on Earth! And who wouldn’t be? Personally I don’t think I have ever seen a more attractive Japanese woman than that lady officer. That little boy is going to love this photo when he gets older! Kids, uniforms, beautiful police officers and the smell of horses in the morning, is there any better way to spend a morning in the last day of winter?