This Saturday Tokyo was practically saturated with festivals. There were too many to even consider trying to see more than a few of them. On Saturday evening I visit the bigger than expected Nebuta Matsuri at Sakurashinmachi. The Nebuta festival is the most famous cultural export out of Aomori Prefecture up north, one of the most all-in festivals of the country with huge paper sculptures lit from within, thousands of dancers in what at first looks like a mosh pit at a punk festival, huge drums and a very addictive flute melody that tends to get itself stuck in your mind for days. In other words, great fun! Aomori prefecture is very far from Tokyo so there are quite a few festivals around Tokyo bringing Aomori to the city rather than the other way around.
Sakurashinmachi is famous for two things, horses and Sazaesan, the massively popular long running animated TV show featuring a multi-generational family living in this town. So over half of the Nebuta decorations are Sazaesan-themed and very popular with the kids! It is easy to get here, by the Denentoshi Line connecting with the Hanzomon Subway line in Shibuya. More photos to come!
More photos from the fantastic Nebuta Matsuri in western Tokyo’s Tachikawa City last weekend. You might remember last year’s blog post about the mini-Nebuta Matsuri in Shibuya last year, the floats in Tachikawa were much bigger and more varied, a lot of thought had gone into the decorations on them, as even the backsides were lit and decorated with paintings of mythical characters or buddhist stories. Great stuff! I took these photos with a variety of prime lenses, but it was really really dark so I had to crank up the ISO on my Nikon D700. Enjoy!
In August every year the legendary Nebuta Matsuri from the north of Japan visits Tokyo for real, in the western Tokyo city of Tachikawa. You don’t get many chances to see the real thing this far south so of course I went to see it. It’s a three day event and I caught the last of it. During the festival they parade huge lit floats of mythological characters made out of paper while dancers, drummers and flutists dance wildly around in their very colorful costumes and decorated amigasa headwear. The floats look great and the main street of the festival area is full of people enjoying the great food put out by the local shops and organizations. Tachikawa is only 27 minutes from Shinjuku on the fastest commuter train. I’ll post more photos later!