Last weekend was the high point of the year for all Awaodori fans in and around Tokyo. Two massive festivals took place, the grand Koenji Awaodori Festival and also the Minamikoshigaya Awaodori Festival up in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. The Saitama festival takes place on broad modern streets, much different from the intimate and down to earth Koenji festival, so there is a big difference in how the two festivals compare. Although not nearly as big and varied as the Koenji festival the Minamikoshigaya festival manages to attract several of genuine Tokushima teams which are generally regarded as the best in the world. It is not really fair to compare the teams, but there are some truly exceptional teams in terms of skill to be seen in this festival. One of them, a personal favorite and quite famous around the country is the Ebisuren straight from Tokushima Prefecture itself. They performed late in the evening of this very long festival but gave a near perfect performance, as usual.
Next year come August, if you wan’t to see Awaodori but are not too keen on the crowds of Koenji, I recommend trying out Minamikoshigaya, it is easy to get there from Tokyo as the Hanzomon subway line connects all the way through.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a few snapshots of some very handsome men taken at the Minamikoshigaya Awaodori festival at the end of last month. Here are a few more very good looking guys from the Fujionren, Kioiren, Soka-Oyamaren and finally the world famous Ahoren from Tokushima prefecture. Are they not fantastic looking?
Awaodori is famous for loud music and graceful ladies, but there’s quite a few very handsome men giving their best as well. Here’s a few of the most irresistible guys I could find at the Minamikoshigaya Awaodori festival a little while ago. I have more of these hunks stored up for the coming month! These guys are members of the Kakashiren, Koutaren and Ishinren and the famous, near mythological Ebisuren, respectively Enjoy!
Truly last weekend was heaven on Earth for us Awaodori fanatics. Two huge festivals at the same time, not only Koenji with over a million visitors but also the slightly (just slightly) smaller Awaodori festival in Minamikoshigaya in Saitama prefecture very close to Tokyo. I normally go both days to the Koenji event but this year I split it up and did Sunday in Minamikoshigaya (南越谷). It’s a little bit different from Koenji, not least because of the architecture: where as Koenji is an early post war rambling commercial town Minamikoshigaya is a planned satellite city to Tokyo with huge buildings, long wide roads and big sidewalks. So the festival has a bit of a different character, but with slightly more room and the added attraction of some of the best Awaodori teams in the world coming right up from Tokushima prefecture (the spiritual homeland of Awaodori). It’s a great alternative to the Koenji festival, especially for those in Saitama prefecture. Here’s a few pictures from before the opening, some from the very first team that seemed to consist of rounded up local kids in very very colorful jinbei and yukata with a smattering of very good looking older performers, down to the last photo of the little girl who after two hours of constant dancing was stumbling forward, oblivious to the world and very much half asleep on her feet! Not even the wild cheers of the crowd could wake her up! Adorable.