The Awaodori Matsuri is a dance festival that takes place in the Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku island in Japan from August 12-15th as part of the Obon celebrations. It is the largest dance festival in Japan attracting well over 1.3 million visitors annually.
Some very clever people in Tokyo have capitalized on the dance festival’s popularity by opening up an izakaya (Japanese bar) in Shinjuku which offers delicious regional dishes and alcohol from the Tokushima region! Aptly named, the Awaodori Restaurant is located at 3-18-4 Shinjuku, 5F Seno Bldg., Shinjuku, Tokyo. It is open for business from 5:00 PM-12:00AM Monday-Thursday and from 5:00PM-4:00 AM on Sundays and National Holidays. An izakaya differs from traditional western-style bars in that it is a type of drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. These establishments offer a casual environment in which you can have a lively time with colleagues and friends after-work. But Awaodori definitely sets itself apart from the regular izakaya in that patrons can enjoy dance performances from some great groups within Tokyo!
There are two nightly shows, one at 7:30 PM and another at 9:30 PM. Restaurant patrons are encouraged to join in the dancing and several do jump to their feet and give it their all to the resonating sounds of the shamisen and taiko drums.
The izakaya also serves up great food at very reasonable prices. The “Awao Chicken Nabe ” (Chicken hotpot dish) is very popular as is the tebasaki (chicken wings).
So if you are looking for entertainment, great food and excellent service, you must give Awaodori a try. At the end of the performance, you will be given an opportunity to take photographs with the dancers. A great souvenir to remember a remarkable experience in Shinjuku!