During the three day Miraitoterasu festival at the Yasukuni Shrine in in Kudanshita district, central Tokyo, one of the museum buildings attached to the shrine was lit up by projection mapping showing the four seasons of the shrine. I must have been here a hundred times but I never tire seeing the shrine covered in cherry blossoms or autumn leaves.
The famous Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward had a very nice three day culture festival during the weekend and I was there to enjoy the display of traditional sacred dances, the Kaguramai (神楽舞). Each day had between one and two hours of a few sets of dances, performed by one to four dancers. Some of the dances were very rare and not something most people are likely to see even once in their lives here in Japan. Once again Yasukuni brings the most sacred of traditions to the general public, and free of charge as usual. Thank you, Yasukuni Shrine!
This weekend sees several festivals take place all over Tokyo, not least the fairly massive Ikebukuro Matsuri. The main area of the festival is in the West exit area of the JR Ikebukuro Station, so it will be hard to miss it. Most of the actual parade ground will be closed to people not participating (those wearing a happi coat) but this means it is easy to find a good spot along the route and get a good look at the many omikohisi, lantern teams and even dancers or taiko drummers performing. After the main event is finished you can catch up with omikoshi and get a closer look here and there around the station. Not to be missed if you have some free time!
This year’s two day Awaodori festival in Shibuya Ward’s Hatsudai was just as great as usual. Lots of great dancers and a splendid effort from all the organizers and volunteers who helped pull it all off. Here are just a few of the snapshots I took during the first day of the festival. I will have time to properly go through the image some day in the far future when I am retired!
In these photos you will find the Hatsudairen (初台連), the Hachamecharen (波奴連), the Otoriren (鳳連), the Gorakuren (伍楽連) and the Susonoren (すそ野連).