Koenji Awa Odori Festival – Enjoy a Hot Summer Traditional Dance in Tokyo!




Do you know the dance which is called Awa Odori? There is a unique event where people perform it – Awa Odori Festival. It is one of the famous Bon Odori (it is a style of dancing performed during Obon season) in Japan. Obon is a particular time when people pray for the spirits of their deceased relatives. Also, it is the traditional dance of Tokushima. Today Awa Odori is enjoyed at many places in Japan. In this article, I will introduce a unique festival of Awa Odori held in Koenji, Tokyo. If you are looking for something special to experience in Japan, this article will help you.

About Matsuri

The Koenji Awa Odori festival (高円寺阿波おどり) is a festival held every year on the last week of August along the shopping streets north and south of JR Koenji Station. It is known as one of the most famous summer festivals in Tokyo. This festival began in 1957 to revitalise the town of Koenji. Over the years the festival has grown, and now over one million spectators visit this festival.

The festival is lasting for two days. Many people visit both days to see the performance. The street is filled with ten thousand dancers and over a million spectators. The performance begins at five o`clock and finishes at eight pm, so you can enjoy watching it for a long time.

Awa Odori is one of the unique dances of Japan. The basic rule of this dance is to move your right arm forward with your right leg and your left arm forward with your left leg and dance to music.

Things to Do and See

You can enjoy watching the Awa Odori. One of the features of this performance is that men and women wear different outfits and also dance in different styles. Men wear a happi (light and loose-fitting cotton kimono) and perform a more dynamic dance. Women wear Yukata (Japanese traditional light cotton kimono) and amigasa (a straw hat that they tie on the head in a unique way), and dance in a more stylish way.

Other than seeing Awa Odori performance at the festival, you can enjoy eating Japanese food. Many food stalls fill the streets, so you do not have to worry about starving during the festival.

Also, Koenji is famous as a Japanese pub area, so you can have a great Sake after you enjoy the festival.

Details and Access

On the day of the festival, most of the parking spaces are occupied. If you want to avoid heavy traffic, taking the train is the best option.
The nearest station is Koenji station on the JR Chuo line and Shin Koenji station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line. The venue is about a 3-minute walk from the station.
The dates of original proceedings change year to year, but it is usually on the last week of August.

Other Things to Do in Koenji

After checking out the festival, there are a lot of things to do and places to visit in Koenji.
Here are some recommendations below:

Za Koenji Theater

It is a theatre for contemporary performing arts. You can see many kinds of plays here. Watching a contemporary Japanese play may become a unique experience for you.

Vintage stores

Do you know that there are over 70 vintage stores around Koenji? I love shopping in vintage stores. If you have any interest in old things from home supplies to clothing, you should visit. You can get many useful items for a reasonable price here!

Closing Remarks

I think that the Koenji Awa Odori Festival is one of the best festivals in Tokyo.
Awa Odori is one of the unique and traditional dances in Japan, so it is worth seeing it. I recommend you to take your camera to take some beautiful pictures to show your family or friends, or post on SNS. Everybody will be surprised to see such vibrant shots! During the festival, the streets are full of people, so you can connect with local people and enjoy the festival easily with them.

You can enjoy this festival with local friends as well. If you need any guides to take you to the festival and show you more things to do in Tokyo, please check below.

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look, URL: 

Do You Like Dances?

How about watching or even taking part in Japanese dance festivals. The festivals are very different, and you can see either traditional dances and hear the music that had not changed with time, or visit more contemporary dance events.  Anyway, what`s a festival without dancing? There are so many dance festivals in Japan that sometimes it is hard to choose one. Following article collected Best Dancing Festivals in Japan. Please have a look and pick your favourite!

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should definitely try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Masaki Nagamuma

Hello, I am Masaki Nagamuma, college student in Tokyo. love to visit a lot of place in Japan and other country. If you have any interested in Japan, I want you to check my article.

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