Tokyobling's Blog

Ometaisai – Dashi and Hayashi

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on May 10, 2014

Here are some more photos from the annual Ometaisai, the grand festival of Ome City in western Tokyo, quite far from Shinjuku but connected to it on one long straight road called the Ome Kaido. The Ome Kaido doubles as the venue for the many large Dashi (山車) of the festival. These festival wagons are loaded with musicians and dancers and travel up and down the main street, stopping to do battle with the hayashi teams and other dashi they encounter along the way. The object of the battle is to throw the other team of their rhythm and in case of another dashi it is the winning team that gets right of way while the other team has to hold back. It is the job of all the members of the team to cheer the musicians of their own team on!

Naturally the people pulling these huge wagons get thirsty and there are plenty of spots ready for refreshments on the way, offering square wooden or lacquered boxes from which to drink sake, Japanese fermented rice spirits. In some cities and during some seasons on the corners of the box is prepared with a pinch of salt to help you through the heat of the day. You might recognize the label on the barrel of this hayashi group as being that of the famous Sawanoi Sake brewery that I blogged about late last year. They must have gotten a very good vintage because it tasted fantastic (I lucked out and was offered a box just for passing – and I obviously accepted).



















2 Responses

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  1. pk1154 said, on May 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Hello, straw hat man! >^o.o^<

    A good time was had by all, obviously.


    • tokyobling said, on May 11, 2014 at 3:05 am

      Haha… he played it cool in front of my camera. (^-^) Yes, good times are in abundance over here, if you know how to enjoy life!


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