Tokyobling's Blog

Yamato Awaodori – Shinbashiren

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on August 5, 2014

Possibly one of the greatest Awaodori festivals in Kanagawa Prefecture took place a couple of weeks ago in the city of Yamato. Unlike the shopping street dominated festivals of Tokyo this takes place on the wide roads and streets surrounding the main station, similar in feel to the mighty Minamikoshigaya Awaodori festival in Saitama Prefecture. The festival start was severely delayed by massive rains that managed to soak more than one team. Fortunately in this kind of summer heat even a complete soaking is not likely be more than an inconvenience and the festival finished without a problem.

One of my favorite teams was the local Shinbashiren (新橋連) who put on a massive performance and were one of the big crowd pleasers with some very talented younger dancers. If you are in Tokyo or the Yokohama area this time next year, do not miss this great festival!












5 Responses

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  1. Jonelle Patrick said, on August 5, 2014 at 4:57 am

    So, this series is a classic example of why I love your photography so much. This awaodori takes place in a decidedly unphotogenic and tediously un-Japanese neighborhood. But the focus of the photos is on the remarkable people dancing, and you caught them with lovely lighting and the perfect moment of movement. These are especially wonderful, however, because…how did you get yourself a vantage point that was exactly in front of the oncoming parade?! I suspect foresight and scouting.


    • tokyobling said, on August 5, 2014 at 5:17 am

      Thank you Jonelle, you are much too kind as usual! I used to be bummed out by the urban environment here but it is really all about the people as you point out! Photography is 90% showing up (the remainder is a mix of skill, sense, subject and luck) and that is mostly what I did here. There were some really epic rains raining on this parade and it was still raining cats and dogs when they finally decided to just go ahead with the festival anyway. I wasn’t about to give up though as I absolutely hate the idea of the dancers performing in pouring rain with no one to cheer them on. So when I got to the parade street (one of several sections) I was just about the only one up there, not even the staff were out to keep the non-existant crowds away. Hence I pretty much could do what I wanted as long as I stayed out of the actual parade ground. On the first photo the wall of dancers is just a few feet in front of me and I ran away half a second after taking it. By the time this group came up the rains had stopped though and the sky was gorgeous just half an hour earlier.

      So luck, and showing up. (^-^)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mckinleysandrew said, on August 5, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Reblogged this on McKinley Post and commented:
    Great pictures!


  3. Mikku said, on August 10, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Great photos, as always!! I was there on Saturday afternoon/evening and spent most of the time in one of the outer streets – less crowds and atmosphere but fantastic nonetheless.


    • tokyobling said, on August 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Thank you Mikku! Yes, I was mostly on the outer streets as well. Crowds are like cryptonite when you try to focus on the dancers! haha..


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