Koenji Awa Odori Festival

Last Sunday (26th) Koenji, Tokyo held its 51st Awa Odori Festival as part of the Bon Odori. Awa Odori is also known as line dance since the groups called Ren (連) dance in a tight formation. They are also called “The Fools Dance” because of the steps in dance which looks like some drunken fool dancing around.

Not much photos this time around as it was fast approaching night my slow lens doesn’t help much in this low light condition with the subject moving so much. I did managed to capture video on some of the groups performing the dance.

So read on to see the video and some of the photos that I managed to capture from there.

Enjoy the video, they must have really practiced a lot to pull this off.

Here are some of the photos I took from there.
I’ve reach Koenji Station an hour earlier and the crowds are already there. You really cannot beat Japan crowds, I gave up.


Not really the best spot, but at this rate any place you can see is good


The dancers getting ready at their location


Waiting for the start signal at 18:00


And off they go…


Thief? somehow this reminds me of Nobita in Doremon weird


It is really lively here, with the dancers enjoying and interacting with the crowds and shouting “Ya-to-sa” while they dance through the city street


The dancers are ranging from old to young, male and female


They did their homework alright


So cute, and so lost


In the group a flag carrier will lead the group then the dancers and finally the band behind


Some groups will do something like this to stand out from others


Not all are in big groups, some form smaller one like this


But some are just massive!


From time to time, the female dancers gather up in a tight formation like this


Then the male dancers join in…


One of the flag carrier


Woh.. gambateh ojisan! perfect vertical!


A few more minutes from ending, crowds starting to get in also!


Owata! \(^o^)/ Finished! End! Yeah! Woooo!


Oookay. Going back is not going to be really fun I guess.

So, it was really a tiring night especially when yesterday (Saturday 25th) I went to the Asakusa Samba Carnival. This mark the end for the August event, and here comes the gaming month September.

With Lair and Heavenly Sword PlayStation 3 release in the middle of September and Tokyo Game Show 2007 at the end of the month I expect to be really busy next month.

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4 responses to “Koenji Awa Odori Festival

  1. I wish we have this kind of event here in Canada. I barely see a gathering in this Country. Well, at least in my city? Nice pictures btw!!

  2. Never been. I should attend next year.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing all these photos and video clips. I wish I knew who are the people dancing in this kind of fest and how did they select people to do it? Do they do this every year? By the same people?

  4. @Joy Li: Yes, they do this every year as it is part of the japanese culture. I’m not sure how they are selected but I think they joined in groups.

    As if it is the same people, I’m guessing there are since this is an annual event.

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