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.
I was a little worried the grannies were going to strip off their yukata to reveal sexy samba outfits. Luckily, there seems to be no overlap between the participants in the two events.
The Tatara Matsuri is held on the first weekend in August. The dancing is on Saturday, and then there is a fireworks display on Sunday night. The nagashi-odori starts at 5:00 and the samba is from 6:10. The fireworks on Sunday are from 7:45 to 8:30. The dancing is within walking distance from Kawaguchi Station, but the fireworks are held at the Kawaguchi Autoracing Track. There’s a free shuttle bus. Check out the festival’s website at: http://www.cablenet.ne.jp/~tatara/index.html(Japanese only) for more information.
Great info! I should also note that anyone who still craves Samba without the crowds should go to Warabi’s Samba parade this Tuesday holiday.
You take such good photos! What kind of camera are you using?
I’m shooting with an EOS 5D Mark II these days.
i love it. i visit this city 3 years ago. my sister married to a Japanese national. kawaguchi i miss u, hope i can visit again…..
Looks amazing, I was in the city but not at this time and I won’t be back for a while but I would like to see this smaller festival.
i love saitama last may 2009 i was there i miss to much saitama i love saitama people now i am going again specialy saitama in feb 21 2010 i need a good friend there for speak japan language i need a good friend i want leart japanese
Hello!!!Can anyone tell me about the dancing schedule in August 2010?
Thanks for your coperation!
Their homepage hasn’t been updated yet. Check it out (or ask me to) a week or two before the festival.