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Japan: Tokyo (Shibuya) Ohara Festival/ 渋谷鹿児島おはら祭

Summertime in Japan is a wonderful time in that it marks the start of many fun and interesting festivals. One such festival is the Shibuya Kagoshima Ohara Matsuri. This festival which began in Shibuya in 1996 is a friendship festival between Kagoshima and Shibuya. (The Kagoshima version dates back to 1949). Essentially it is one great dance festival/ parade with nine teams participating from Kagoshima and fifty teams participating from the Kanto Region.

The Ohara Matsuri in Kagoshima is celebrated in November. It is the largest festival of its kind in southern Kyushu featuring 20,000 dancers. Teams of dancers dance in unison to traditional folk music like Ohara Bushi wearing traditional yukata (summer cotton kimono), festive Happi coats and some even employ home-made costumes. The event draws in upwards of over 20,000 spectators to Tenmonkan in downtown Kagoshima each year.

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The Shibuya version of this festival takes place in May on Bunkamura Street and Dougenzaka Street. The festival’s main purpose is to promote tourism in Kagoshima and enforce the city’s cultural ties to Tokyo. Since Kagoshima has a rich food culture, there is a food festival on Saturday and Sunday as well. The parade begins on Sunday at 12:50 PM and concludes at 4:00 PM. Naturally, there is no admission fee applicable.

Web page:       http://www.shibuyadeohara.jp

 

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