July 26, 2011

Kagurazaka Festival

Kagurazaka Festival, held from July 20 to 23. Taking place on the main street running from Kagurazaka Station to Iidabashi Station, the entire stretch of road was closed to traffic for several hours on Friday and Saturday as hordes of participants danced the Awa-odori -- a type of traditional dance set to traditional music.

This year marked the 40th anniversary of the festival. After the devastation of the March 11 earthquake, it was comforting to see thousands of people dancing and partaking in a uniquely Japanese celebration. (Last year's photos can be viewed here.)

Hozuki plants (with the orange lantern flowers) were sold for 1,500 yen each, with a part of the proceeds going to the Tohoku area.

All the shops and the eateries in the surrounding area got into the spirit. Even supermarket employees and conbini workers were allowed to dress up in yukata. Here, a goldfish-scooping game is set up inside a conbini.

There are any number of Japanese restaurants tucked into the narrow streets of Kagurazaka. This restaurant advertises beers served at -1℃.

I cat hiding out on top of a restaurant sign.

Ghoul dancers that would have broken out into a "Thriller" dance in any other country.

A rain leaf used as a fan. These leaves are not exactly abundant in the area.

A kid fascinated by the policeman's light stick.

A dancer in a group named "Kagura". Judging by the polished movements of the teams, some must have practiced for months.

A street stand selling oden.

1 comment:

blukats said...

I like your photos of this festival. They make it feel more like what one would see beyond all the performers. It's a little more like one is there seeing the people enjoying it all. Plus the cat on the sign is great!