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).
If you are in Tokyo over the Silver Week you might as well live up the last day of the holidays by visiting the great Hatsudai Awaodori Festival in Shibuya’s Hatsudai district, the first day was today but the second is coming up tomorrow (or today, depending on the time zone where you are reading this) the 23rd. Great fun for the entire family and lost of chances to eat, drink, and see the easily most festive of all Japanese traditional dances!
Here are some photos of the home team – the famous Hatsudairen (初台連) performing at last year’s festival. I hope this year’s second day is not as rainy!
A couple of weekend I visited Omiya City in Saitama Prefecture just north of Tokyo for their annual summer festival. It is a newish, huge, city festival (so no properly traditional or religious significance to it as yet), where they show a little bit of everything the city has to offer in terms of culture. One of these being a proper samba carnival! Having never seen a samba carnival in Brazil I can not vouch for how authentic it feels, but it sure looks spectacular! The outlandish costumes, the music (and not least the ladies) are huge attractions for locals and the streets were lined ten deep along the parade route.
August has been very very hot in Japan, with few days under 35 degrees celsius and temperatures hitting 40 even in Saitama Prefecture on several days. To dance for a two hours more or less nonstop in this heat is a feat in itself. The men and women did a great job.
Brazilians make up one of Japan biggest ethnic minorities, and there are currently about 300 000 of them in Japan, mostly concentrated in the factory towns on the southern coast of Japan, stretching between Shizuoka Prefecture and Osaka. Most famously in the city of Hamamatsu where most street signs used to be bilingual in Japanese and Portuguese.
Last Saturday was the grand Koiwa Awaodori festival, perhaps one of the first, bigger Awaodori festivals in central Tokyo of the year. This was only the second annual festival, making it one of the youngest festivals of this kind in Tokyo. True to form, this year the rain was pouring down just like on the inaugural event last year! The dancers and musicians of this traditional dance from from Tokushima Prefecture in southern Japan held strong though and danced the entire two hours of the main event, despite the pouring rain.
I took these photos in the beginning of the festival, of the famous Asakusa Kaminariren (浅草雷連) and the new for me but excellent Eboshiren (笑星連) from Kanagawa Prefecture. Both teams were excellent in high form! As soon as the rain period ends the Awaodori season here in Tokyo beings in earnest – I can hardly wait!