Awa Odori Matsuri

So happened upon two matsuri’s when I was out and about in Tokyo.  Both were quite similar, one in Asakusa and another in Koenji so I’ve decided to group them together here.

This is part of the Awa Odori to welcome spirits back at the end of Obon.

And involves lots of dancing while dressed up in traditional obon costumes.

The Akasaka affair was much smaller and less crowded and you will see in the pictures below

But the good thing was that it allowed for some real up front and personal photos.

Sure looks like really hot work though!  Its 35 degrees outside

Women have to dance on the tips of their geta (wooden sandals).  Guess this is where all the high heeled walking helps. Men on the other hand get to dance in their socks.

Dancing troops during the Koenji section of the matsuri are groups/organizations numbering over 180.

These can be companies (Microsoft), public utilities (the post office) or even the fire brigade.

The dancing is accompanied by flutes and japanese lutes.

And drums. Lots of drums.

At certain sections along the road, the dancers will stop and do a stationary dance.

As I think I mentioned, the place is very very crowded.  There are over half a million spectators vying for a spot to view the event.

I actually viewed the same event 2 years ago, but this is my chance to relive the event and pretend that I’m young again.

Although old age does have its benefits such as more expensive camera equipment.

And knowing where to be for photos.

A friend was also visiting from London and I bullied him into viewing the spectacle.

Later on he thanked me by buying me dinner.  Ahh, a good deed never goes unrewarded.

And as I slowly circled like a vulture for the best photographic position I managed to slowly edge my way stealthy around to the front.

Along the way I got some close up shots of the dancers.

Which includes the mini versions.

Having *nudged* my way to the front, I was rewarded with a prime position.

Although the stewards weren’t happy to see me, so they would occasionally shoo me out of the way.

But in my gaijinness I would just grunt and snap a few more shots and stare blankly.

I also got followed my other people who got the same idea.

But it gave me the opportunity for these shots.

The things I will do for photos.  I think it paid off well.

Don’t you?  See you next time.

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