I’ll start with my own personal favourite from the whole thing:
The Tokyo Jidai Matsuri is an annual parade that depicts key events in Tokyo history through the ages (jidai means “era” or “period”). It’s one of those festivals that you might think has been around for a loooong time, but, actually, according to Wikipedia.jp, it started in
1999 as part of an event called “Tokyo Renaissance” 1988 (edited – see comments below), an attempt to promote the Asakusa area and its historical significance in the history of Edo. Just so there’s no confusion, Kyoto has a more famous Jidai Matsuri that’s been running since the late 1800s and is held on October 22nd every year.
Anyway, last November, I knew the Jidai Matsuri was on, but I didn’t have any particular plan to go and watch it. However, as I was very near Asakusa by chance (I went there to buy a ticket for the Tobu line to Nikko), I strolled over and spent an hour or so watching “The Ages” pass by. I was pleasantly surprised on many fronts: the streets were nowhere near as crowded as I had anticipated (which was my original reason for not really wanting to go), everyone in the parade seemed to really be enjoying themselves, and the costumes were fantastic.
Fortunately, I had my 135L with me and it was easy to get right up to the front, so, this is what it’s all about (if you’re interested in details about the costumes in terms of period or meaning, this website has detailed descriptions).
Okay, not everyone looked happy to be there…
This guy reminds me of Cyrano de Bergerac for some reason…
Okay, this guy wasn’t actually in the parade but he was pretty cute in his absolute refusal to walk one inch further…
More info on the parade here
By the way, if you are running a WordPress.org blog and you ever want to insert more than two or three images in one post, do yourself a favour and get the Faster Image Insert plugin – it’s a brilliant solution to the very irritating built-in method of inserting images one-by-one.
I haven’t been participating in Show Me Japan for the past few weeks (hectic weekends, it seems), but this is my entry for Show Me Japan Vol. I issue XV