This August the Awa Odori came back in Shimokitazawa after a break of 4 years. It felt amazing to have the energy back in the streets with locals and visitors alike soaking in the atmosphere. It was hot, sweaty, loud and lively with the local area troupes gathering together to try to outdo each other.
My personal favourites were the Sancha Ren (troupe) from Sangenjyaya just up the road from us and Takarabune, the crowd-pleasing, high-octane professional troupe.
As you would expect from Japan, the organisation of the event was impeccable. No trouble, no pushing or shoving just people having fun. It was lovely to see the local businesses benefiting from the event too by adding kaki-gori (shaved ice) stands, beer coolers, festival toys and snacks to their usual wares.
The Awa Odori spans the whole weekend from Friday night until Sunday night. It was especially lovely to be able to hear the drums from my house and Studio Biku. For me, this festival marks the end of summer (even though it's still 33-35°C most days) and there's a little one week break before we welcome in the Autumn with the next festival Kitazawa Hachimangu Festival next weekend.
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I'm Victoria, the founder, designer and creator at Bikudesigns, a vintage kimono accessories brand in Tokyo, Japan.