Updated: June 15, 2018
0 Bookmark

Koenji Awa Odori Festival: a huge dance festival in the heart of one of Tokyo's hippest neighborhood!

Tokyo

If you are in Tokyo in late August, make sure to check out the Koenji Awa Odori Festival. It is one of the biggest in the city, and it attracts approximately 1 million visitors! Find out more about the summer festival below!

Aug 25, 2018(Sat) - Aug 26, 2018(Sun)
Feel free to follow favy!

Awa Odori: a traditional dance

shutterstock_605382587
Awa Odori is a traditional dance that originated in the city to Tokushima about 400 years ago. Today it is performed everywhere in Japan as part of O-bon festival. O-bon is the Buddhist custom of welcoming one's ancestors.

Koenji Awa Odori Festival

pixta_8062996_S
Koenji is a neighborhood located at just a 6 minute train ride from Shinjuku on the Chuo Line. It is home to the second biggest awa odori festival in the all of Japan (the biggest one being the original in Tokushima). In the picture above, you can see dancers in a closed street, with spectators crowding the sidewalks to see them.
pixta_23862013_S
Koenji's procession starts in the town's famous shopping arcade, where it was originally held for the first time in 1957 as an attempt to revitalize the street.
pixta_8187482_S
Men and women of all ages, as well as children participate in the dances. Women dancers usually wear geta (japanese wooden clogs) and braided hats, and have a dancing style with their arms raised in the air, whereas the typical male dance is lower to the ground.
pixta_8063001_S
There are over 10,000 dancers at this festival! They belong to groups that are called ren.
The festival is also meant to be a display of community spirit. Each ren practices its awa dance many weeks before the festival. Aside from the male-female differences in styles, the dances are similar. Participants advance taking irregular steps and moving their arms in odd yet graceful movements. The ending part of the choreographed dances is the most interesting part, as each ren will add its own original dance moves in an attempt to woo crowds.
pixta_11925418_S
Music is also an important part of the festival. Dancers advance to the sound of Japanese traditional instruments such as this fue (traditional flute) and Japanese drums.
shutterstock_437619973
While you're in Koenji, you should definitely check out the many interesting second-hand clothing stores the neighborhood is famous for. According to many, Koenji is one of the coolest town in Tokyo, so once the Awa Odori is over, the party go on everywhere in town in the many Izakaya alleys and in the streets!

Where and When?

This year, the Koenji Awa Odori Festival will be on August 25 and 26 from 5:00-8:00. Get there early if you want a good spot for viewing the dances. Don't miss this great Japanese summer festival!
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

Trending Posts

1

Must See! Tuna Demolition Show At Maguro Shoten, Shinjuku!

Shinjuku
2

NoMad Grill Lounge - Nagatacho, Tokyo : Heavenly Juicy Wagyu Steaks!

3

BACCA GRILL&FARMERS - Shinjuku, Tokyo : Bite Off The Gigantic Piece Of Meat!!

4

Cheese Tavern CASCINA - Ebisu, Tokyo : Casual Italian Restaurant For All Cheese Lovers!

5

Kitakata Ramen Bannai - The Ultimate Ramen For All Meat Lovers!

More Trending Posts

Recommended For You!

1

Aged-Beef, Hand-Made Pasta And 100 Types Of Wine At Trattoria Cordiale In Ningyocho, Tokyo

favy
2

Kitakata Ramen Bannai - The Ultimate Ramen For All Meat Lovers!

haru
3

MK Restaurant - Reasonably Priced, All-You-Can-Eat Shabu Shabu & Yam Cha in Tokyo

haru
4

Barliminal -Fun Projections on Your Cake!? Best Place For Birthdays in Roppongi, Tokyo!

haru
5

Niku Baru pippi, Tokyo - Amazing Beef Dishes

haru

Featured Posts

Halal Restaurants In Japan!

Things to do in Japan in all regions!

Exploring Yokocho Alleys: a Guide to the Back Streets!

More Features

Events

Doutor Coffee's 2018 Special Summer Menu In Japan!

Jun 16, Sat ~

Trending Tags