August 25th-26th: Koenji Awa Odori

As a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the 2011 Koenji Awa Odori festival was held during the afternoon. A year passed quickly, and the performances have now returned to the evening.

Speaking as somebody who began dancing Awa Odori more than 50 years ago, I absolutely love Koenji Awa Odori.

This summer I returned to my home town, partly to pay respect to my ancestors, but also to dance at the main Tokushima Awa Odori event for the four days from August 12th to 15th. Koenji Awa Odori always manages to capture and build on that atmosphere, which is part of the attraction for me.

From the moment you step out of JR Koenji Station, you become enveloped in the dance fever, and once the dance begins you can blend right into the multitude of spectators and excitement fuelled "odoru aho". And because the dance is parade style, the dancers can enjoy becoming one with the "miru aho" along the way.

For as long as I have strength, I plan to enjoy dancing at Koenji Awa Odori.
by T.O