Koenji Awa Odori 2009

August 28th ,29th, 30th 2009

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I think I have finally recovered from the lack of sleep and the ill effects of Happoshu beer from the weekend.  I attended all three days although I was late both Saturday and Sunday because of work.

Here is how it unraveled:

Friday, this was a promotional march to promote the event.  It took place on Look street and in the PAL only.  It was the quietest of the three days and many children and people with disabilities seemed to attend this night as well as the locals who just could not wait for the main event!  This was my first taster of traditional Japanese dancing and it really does make Riverdance look like something from Sesame Street.  The dance is called the mad or fools dance and now I know why!  I think my videos from Friday and Saturday will explain it better.  I got some OK footage this night as it was less crowded and I was standing at the end point when they all just go nuts with big drums and strange tin instruments.  Brilliant.  I can’t put all my photos up here so please check my Picasa folder for the rest.

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Saturday, I arrived late so I caught the last hour with my housemate Taca.  The atmosphere this night was just manic.  I have never seen people get so excited.  The Japanese really know how to throw a party, that’s for sure!  Everyone is drinking on the smokey streets and there is lots of pushing.  It was like being back at home…. well not really I suppose.  I loved it all.  I spent most of my night wandering around Koenji’s smaller streets soaking up the buzzing atmosphere and getting stared at by most of the community.

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Sunday – I arrived late so I only caught about ten minutes of the dancing.  It had unfortunately started to rain so very few braved the rain and most people huddled into nearby izakyas.  We (some co-workers and fellow koenji-ites) stayed in an incredibly old izakya (that looked like someones dining room) for most of the night, got over charged, refused to pay it, got 10000 yen off and went to the new bar in Koenji called Dynamo.  A great, if not slightly crazy weekend in the Koenj!   Koenji Awa Odori is officially on my highlights list.

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Minami, Ariel, Jay, Craig, Mari, me, Teffrey, Shige

More photo here

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~ by redegg on September 2, 2009.

3 Responses to “Koenji Awa Odori 2009”

  1. Good stuff mate.
    And if that’s you with the glasses, I’m certain I saw you on Friday.
    I was in PAL for a bit on Friday night, taking some pics, then scurried off to another part of Koenji to get some more shots.
    I’m sure I saw you near PAL as I was moving.
    I’ll know to stop you in the street next time.

  2. This looks good, lots of fookin mentallers too. They really like to hold in their excitement for these sorts of things don’t they? This player is my favourite: http://picasaweb.google.com/colin.boylan5/AwaOdori2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCNCnsouTk8zHbQ&feat=directlink#5376827931869415586

  3. Mickey – that was me in the PAL alright. I was at the top of the PAL area for most of the march.  The groups seemed to go extra crazy there as it was the end point!

    Nigel – yes, some people do seem to hold back a little over here sometimes but festival time is definitely when they really seem to relax and let go. It`s all smiles, beer drinking and good times!

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