Aoiren – Koenji Awaodori
Soon it’s only 7 months left until paradise on Earth for all Awaodori lovers: the annual Koenji Awaodori Matsuri! As usual I can’t survive too long without my Awaodori so here’s a few photos of the lovely Aoiren (あおい連) that I took at last year’s festival. I usually try to go to both days on that most famous festival but sometimes like last year I end up only being able to attend one of the two days, one of the biggest in Tokyo with over one million visitors and 10 000 dancers! Getting a good spot to see the parade is an art form in itself and something that I personally think about a lot, not only a good spot but also somewhere that is photogenic, the right light, the right color light, the right audience (a too rowdy audience will make it difficult to take photos but on the other hand you get bigger smiles on the dancers) and the right spot! Since there are dozens of teams performing you will only see about half of them depending on where you stand so if you have favorite teams you have to keep that into account as well. Phew! Too early to start planning this year’s spot right now!
Another cool thing to look out for are the specialist comedy dancers, men (mostly men anyway) who have a special mime routine they do to entertain the spectators. Everyone is different and Awaodori lovers soon find their own favorites. The comedy dancer in Aoiren is the man in the last photo, he pretends to be a drunken man (remember that Awaodori started out as drinking dance hundreds of years ago) that is pretending to be a flirty woman – hilarious! Most of his poses were far to “glamorous” to post on this blog though! So keep an eye out for him at this year’s Awaodori festival in Koenji – it’s in August!