With about 12,000 participants in about 180 dance groups and over a million of visitors, the Kōenji awa odori (高円寺阿波おどり) is one of the biggest summer festivals of Tokyo. On one weekend in August the dance groups parade around the area of the Kōenji JR station (of the Chūō line), performing the traditional fool’s dance before huge crowds of onlookers.
Unfortunately, unlike before this year the awa odori was not in the evening but in the afternoon, spoiling the chance for some low-light street photography. Still it was nice to watch the dancers and musicians in their traditional costumes chant and sing as they paraded through the streets.
A dance group performs on one the large shopping streets at the Kōenji Awa Odori.
The women do a special dance due to the restrictive nature of the traditional kimonos.
A man doing the traditional 'silly dance' at the Kōenji Awa Odori.
The groups come from all over Japan, here some dancers from Ojiya.
As these drummers show, the Awa Odori dance festival is for all ages.
A man carrying a big Japanese drum in front of his dance group.
A large group of Awa Odori dancers approaches.
A group of young women dancers wearing the traditional men's costume waving fans.
Close-up of one of the female dancers at the Kōenji Awa Odori.
A group of young girls dancing at the Kōenji Awa Odori.
Note the big crowd of spectators at either sides of the street where the dance groups are performing.
Even the children do choreographed dances at the Awa Odori.