Thursday, September 17, 2009

Koenji Awa Odori

For my birthday Kim and I headed over to our buddy Mark's place to see the Koenji Awa Odori Festival. There are several of these Awa Odori festivals that occur throughout Japan, but I do believe this one is the 2nd largest. So what is Awa Odori Festival you may ask. To put it plain and simple it is a 400 year old dance festival. The dancing style is known as the "Fool's Dance," and I must say that is a very accurate description. Its like one big dance competition consisting of maybe 50 teams both male and female, young or old. Each team or gang wears a different outfit with elaborate colors flaunting what appeared to be gang signs, and a general attitude to "serve" the other gang. Tensions run high as each group tries to "bring it" out on the streets of Koenji. To put things into perspective so that you can visualize the experience its like the movie "Step Up 2: The Streets," except no one can dance, and I'm pretty sure the men were drunk because they wore their bandanas backwards (see pics). If you want to read more about it go here.

The dance itself is not too complicated. Kim seriously mastered it in a matter of minutes. Her impression is flawless. Overall it was a great B-Day. I ate my first Gyro on Japanese soil, and I ate a potato chip that looked like a tater tot.

Too much of the sauce for these blokes. They are wearing their bandanas backwards :P
Kim & Becky

I swear I was holding these two beers for someone else

Who knew Captain Jack Sparrow was going to be there, and what's with the guy on the left?
A typical night of hanging out in someone's apartment. This room not only serves as a dinning room, but a bedroom, living room, office, racquet ball court, and floor boards lift up to reveal a swimming pool!

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