Tatara Festival in Kawaguchi City, Saitama

Tokyo’s Samba Carnival in Asakusa and the Awaodori Festival in Koenji are amazing spectacles, but they’re also horribly crowded. If you don’t want to be straining to peer over people’s heads, you have to be there at least an hour before things start.
If you don’t mind seeing things on a slightly smaller scale, you can see pretty much the same thing  a few weeks before in a setting where the crowds are much, much thinner.
During the Nagashi Odori part of the festival, which is based on part of the Awaodori Festival, you can pretty much walk around wherever you want. The event gets a little more crowded when the samba dancers come, but it’s nothing compared to the big Tokyo festivals.

kawaguchi1

kawaguchi2

kawaguchi3

Read the rest of this entry »

Random Scenes From the Asakusa Samba Carnival (2)

Here are some more photos of the Asakusa Samba Carnival.

Other samba posts are here, here, and here.

Random Scenes From the Asakusa Samba Carnival

Previous posts on this blog about the Asakusa Samba Carnival like this one may have given you the impression that it’s all attractive young women in skimpy outfits. There are a lot of other things going on, though, if you can take your eyes off the ladies.

Marching band full of guys who must be very secure in their masculinity.

Right near the beginning of the parade comes a reminder from a local uchimizu group. Uchimizu is the practice of throwing water on the ground to reduce dust. It was probably a good idea a hundred years ago, but is now just wasteful and dangerous. People used to use bathwater, so it was not wasteful, and the streets really did get dusty, but these days, it just makes the paving stones slippery and I’ve seen numerous people slip or get splashed by overzealous street washers. Nobody uses bathwater, either, anymore, so they’re basically just wasting water by washing the pavement every day.

Next was the “arukutabaco” brigade. Many Japanese wards have made it illegal to walk around outside while smoking (although it’s perfectly fine to light up in enclosed spaces), supposedly because it’s dangerous. An journalist acquaintance of mine who looked into the facts of the matter, however, found that there has not been a single case of a person being seriously injured by someone carelessly smoking a cigarette.

The guys on the Asahi Beer float had the best seats in the house for watching the parade.web analytics

Samba in the Rain

This photo is from the famous Asakusa Samba Carnival. It’s been happening every year since 1981 when the mayor of Taito Ward invited the winning dance team from Brazil’s Samba Carnival to Japan. The weather for yesterday’s event was beautiful until about 3 pm when it suddenly started to pour. A lot of the spectators quickly headed for home, but the dancers seemed to love it.

Samba in the Rain

This weekend was the famous Asakusa Samba Carnival. It’s been happening every year since 1981 when the mayor of Taito Ward invited the winning dance team from Brazil’s Samba Carnival to Japan. The weather for yesterday’s event was beautiful until about 3 pm when it suddenly started to pour. A lot of the spectators quickly headed for home, but the dancers seemed to love it.


web analytics

%d bloggers like this: