Thursday, May 3, 2012

Will Miss #444 - Koenji Awaodori

A poster for the Koenji Awaodori festival, which takes place in the sweatiest time of year.

Now that I no longer live in Japan and have to worry less about overtly revealing my location, I can say that I used to live midway between Asagaya and Koenji. For those who never lived in Japan, that means nothing, but it would have been a juicy nugget for my stalkers. Though honestly, I'm sure any attentive nut job who hated me but couldn't stop obsessing on my words and personal information could have gleaned such information from photos if nothing else. Getting back to the point, however, this was a great location in Tokyo to live. Both Asagaya and Koenji were fantastic places to live for a plethora of reasons and, if I ever live in Japan again, I'd consider living there again.

Besides the incredible shopping, great atmosphere, and convenient location, both Asagaya and Koenji had notable festivals. For Asagaya, it was the deliciously tacky and overblown tanabata festival. For Koenji, it was the far less tacky and monumentally popular awaodori festival which features traditional dancers, taiko drumming, and about a million visitors (literally).

The Koenji awaodori is an awesome event that provides a window into traditional culture and offers a level of exposure to the energy and enthusiasm of Japanese people that is usually absent in everyday life, and I will miss it.