Tokyobling's Blog

Kagurazaka Awaodori – Tonight

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 26, 2014

Last night saw the start of the fantastic Kagurazaka Awaodori Festival, the third day in four day Kagurazaka Matsuri. The last day is tonight with the kid’s teams performing from 1800 to 1900 and then the adult’s teams from 1900 to 2100. You can get to Kagurazaka from either Iidabashi station, Ushigome Kagurazaka or Kagurazaka stations. The further up you go on the street the fewer people you are likely to have to fight for a good spot with, so if it seems to crowded down hill just keep walking to the second area of the festival!

Last night I took these photos of the always fantastic Tenguren and their little Kotenguren kids. I can’t get enough of this team! Even though Awaodori dance is traditionally from Tokushima Prefecture there are dozens of great teams here in Tokyo!

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More Cosplaying Athletes – Tokyo Marathon

Posted in People, Places by tokyobling on February 25, 2014

The second batch of cosplaying athletes from this year’s Tokyo Marathon. I really enjoyed spotting all of these fantastic athletes, but to be honest there was one guy in particular I was looking for, and that is the by now pretty famous Mr. Lullaby (ララバイさん) who dressed as Jesus, complete with a cross, runs the entire marathon bare foot! Compared to better equipped runners, his finishing time of 05:24 might not be very spectacular, but considering he is an amateur athlete without shoes it is pretty amazing. After the race he ran off to head a gig in Ikebukuro, as he is the singer of the band “The Chambers” (ザ・チャンバーズ). If you missed the post race gig you get a second chance on the 28th of this month when the band performs at a small festival gig in Shinjuku. In 2013 he even participated in the New York Marathon, in costume of course. The band’s twitter feed is full of fun photos of this guy right now.

There were plenty more of fun runners, like the zombie man with a meat cleaver in his head and a fork in his shoulder, or the man dressed up as Mount Fuji, or the many Super Marios. The list goes on!

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Tokyo Marathon – Runners in Costume

Posted in People, Places by tokyobling on February 24, 2014

Tokyo Marathon would not be the same without all the costumed runners, and this year’s race was no exception. I saw so many that I lost count, but here are about half of the ones that I managed to catch in my finder. There were a few good ones that I missed as they ran in the middle of the stream of people. I would admire anyone who walks 42km let alone tries to run them, and even more so doing it in costume!

Where I was stood at about 4km into the race, the first runner in costume to pass us was the man dressed as a daikon in the second photo (I saw a couple of daikons, three or four nasu (eggplant) a couple of strawberries, a pod of peas and a couple of bananas. Not quite enough for a meal but it was good to see that almost a dozen fruit and vegetable runners for each hamburger (there was one!). Then there was a rather fast Gundam runner (fifth photo) as well as a small group of Where’s Wally? (I saw one more later on). Despite Kumamon being the most popular character in Japan right now I saw only one (seventh photo) but several Snow Whites (both male and female, eight photo). Superheroes were also represented, with at least two Batmans for every Superman, and three or four spidermen for every Captain America. But out of my four favorites this time, here are two of them (two final photos), a man in a business suit complete with glasses and a briefcase, and a man running as a red postbox. Fantastic! I’ll post the others later, just hang in there!

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Tokyo Marathon 2014 – 4km Point

Posted in People, Places by tokyobling on February 23, 2014

I just got home after cheering on the Tokyo Marathon runners and wheelchairs. A cloudy day with no wind but still bitingly cold. First came the wheelchairs, speeding past in the blink of an eye. A few minutes later came the front group of runners. Since this was still only roughly 4km from the starting point everyone still looked very fresh and composed! I picked the same spot as I did in 2012, not too much clutter in the background and not too far from the starting point. Later today we will find out if I managed to catch any of the medalists in these snaps! This year too there were lots of runners in costumes, I will share some of those photos later on. In the meantime, Gambare runners of all nations!

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