JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.

Image search results - "nerima-ku"
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Shakujii-Koen Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. 石神井公園駅
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Road to Shakujii Park.
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One end of Shakujii Park.
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Shakujii Pond 石神井池
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Swan boats on Shakujii Pond. 石神井公園
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Shakujii Pond 石神井池
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What is this?
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An egret stalking insects. It did not mind us photographers only meters away.
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The only egret which never flew away when I approached.
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Notice the black legs and yellow feet.
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Trail to the other end of the park.
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There is a walking path around the entire park with two ponds.
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Sanpoji Pond 三宝寺池
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Shrine
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Shrine
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Ukimido Pavilion good for feeding ducks.
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Map of park. The park is a long, elongated shape.
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Shakujii-Koen Station, North Entrance
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The 16th Kitamachi Awa Odori was held on July 26, 2008 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. Kitamachi is a small neighborhood near Tobu-Nerima Station on the Tobu Tojo Line.
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They danced on the main shopping streets called Kitamachi shotengai (pictured here) and New Kitamachi shotengai. Just few minutes walk from the train station. きたまち商店街
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After a few speeches and a "tape-cut" ceremony, the festival began at 6:30 pm.
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Twenty-three dancing and non-dancing troupes participated. This is somewhat small compared to bigger Awa Odori dances in Tokyo, but the enjoyment and enthusiasm of the dancers and crowd were top-class.
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One group was from the local junior high school.
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There were about 1,400 dancers and about 70,000 spectators lining the streets.
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Junior high school dancers dressed in yukata.
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School baseball team, Kitamachi Faiyers. No dancing.
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Would you believe a karate group? They did not dance. Just punched and yelled their way through. Kitamachi Awa Odori, Nerima, Tokyo 極真空手連
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I much prefer the women dancers.
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So photogenic, like a crane in flight.
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Daikon-ren from Nerima-ku.
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These kids were very good at the taiko drums.
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Dancing in formation.
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Aoi Shin-ren, one of my favorite Awa Odori troupes. 葵新連
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Kitamachi Awa Odori, Tokyo 写楽連
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Kitamachi Awa Odori, Tokyo
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Takara-bune-ren 宝船連
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She loved to pose for photographers.
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They were hoppin'
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Awa Odori dancer
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All the dancers' faces were glistening with perspiration.
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Kitamachi Awa Odori, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
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Kitamachi Awa Odori Dance, Nerima-ku, Tokyo きたまち阿波おどり
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Nice formation.
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They know how to look good.
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For the last number, the finale.
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Quite spectacular finale performance by this troupe called Hyottoko-ren. ひょっとこ連
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Hope to see you next year too. Also see my YouTube video here.
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The 33rd Nakamurabashi Awa Odori festival was held on Sept. 7, 2008 from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. Before 5 pm, it poured rain. However, it became a drizzle and the dance started as scheduled.
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Due to the downpour, festival spectators huddled in the train station and under the train tracks.
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The opening ceremony started on time at 5 pm under the train tracks instead of on the outdoor stage in front of Nakamurabashi Station. These are local politicians lined up to give speeches. Each speech was short, but there were so many of them.
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Outdoor stage in front of Nakamurabashi Station. The opening ceremony supposed to be here, but the rain prevented that. This stage was also later used for Awa Odori dancers to perform.
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The dance parade was held along the Santsu Nakamurabashi shopping street that intersects with Nakamurabashi Station. Nakamurabashi is a short train ride from Ikebukuro Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.
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Santsu Nakamurabashi shopping street is a straight road intersecting with the Keio Line train tracks. It has a good number of shops and restaurants. サンツ中村橋商店街
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These photos center on the local Awa Odori dance troupes such as this one called Daikon-ren. だいこん連
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Daikon-ren
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Daikon-ren
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Daikon-ren passing through Nakamurabashi Station.
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Daikon-ren also gave a great finale at the end of the festival.
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Daikon-ren finale
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Nakamurabashi Awa Odori Dance in Nerima, Tokyo. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Boy drummers show their stuff too.
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Read his palm.
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Daikon means radish.
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Daikon-ren at Nakamurabashi Awa Odori
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Another local Awa Odori troupe is Nakamurabashi-ren.
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中村橋連
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Nakamurabashi-ren passing through Nakamurabashi Station.
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Nakamurabashi-ren
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Nakamurabashi Awa Odori dancer
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Nakamurabashi Awa Odori
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Nakamurabashi-ren 中村橋連
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Nakamurabashi Awa Odori Dance with Nakamurabashi-ren 中村橋連
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Tsuzumi shoulder drum
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Okame-ren 女華夢連
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People and umbrellas crowd the outdoor stage in front of Nakamurabashi Station.
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On the outdoor stage.
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A karate group from Nerima also performed.
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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Nagoyaka-ren なごやか連
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Shinobu-ren (Koenji) teamed up with Chirudo-ren (Child-ren). しのぶ(忍)連
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Shinobu-ren (from Koenji) teamed up with Chirudo-ren (Child-ren). しのぶ(忍)連
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Chirudo-ren チルド連
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Chirudo-ren
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Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連
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From Koganei in the outskirts of Tokyo.
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Kumegawa-ren 久米川蓮
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Nakamurabashi Awa Odori in Sept.
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Kasei-ren かせい連
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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Kasei-ren
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At the end of the festival in front of Nakamurabashi Station, they invited everyone to dance.
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Everyone dancing in front of Nakamurabashi Station. The rain never really stopped, and the dancers got pretty wet.
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Poster for the 33rd Nakamurabashi Awa Odori
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The 34th Nakamurabashi Awa Odori dance festival was held on Sept. 6, 2009 from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. First they held a tape-cutting ceremony with local politicians and festival organizers.
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After the opening ceremony on the outdoor stage in front of Nakamurabashi Station (Seibu Ikebukuro Line), Daikon-ren performed on the stage while other groups started dancing on the streets. だいこん連
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Daikon-ren
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I took a good number of Daikon-ren pictures last year in 2008.
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Another local troupe is Nakamurabashi-ren. 中村橋連
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Nakamurabashi-ren 中村橋連
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Nagoyaka-ren was a cute group with many kids. なごやか連
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Tsukushi-ren is outfitted with clothing dyed with indigo. つくし連
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Tsukushi-ren
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Fast-action dancers of Takarabune-ren performed on stage for about 15 min.
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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First time I saw an awa odori dancer wearing a hat like this.
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She's one of the best dancers out there.
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Kumegawa-ren from Higashi-Murayama in Tokyo. 久米川連
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Koganei Sakura-ren from Koganei, not far from Nerima. Koganei has a large park famous for cherry blossoms. 小金井さくら連
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Koganei Sakura-ren musicians. I've seen them at Koenji Awa Odori as well.
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Koganei Sakura-ren performing on the outdoor stage.
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Troupe for a local bank.
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I see Sazanka-ren headbands. Perhaps they were hired to dance for the bank.
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Kasei-ren かせい連
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Kasei-ren
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Takarabune-ren allowed anyone to dance with them. A large crowd did just that.
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Karate-ren. Not really awa odori, but fun to watch. Too few girls though. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Now we have Narimasu Chirudo-ren (Child-ren), a play on words for "Children."
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Narimasu Child-ren teamed up with Shinobu-ren.
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Shinobu-ren 忍連
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