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Summer festivals become major tourist attraction in Japan

Tokushima / Yokohama, Aug. 27 : Japan’s biggest summer festival “Awa Dance” was held in Shikoku area of Tokushima Prefecture.

“Awa Dance” was started some 400 years ago in Edo era. The festival is observed every year for four days starting from August 12.

The group of choreographed dancers and musicians known as Ren enthralled the visitors with their performances.

“Our “Ren” group has 92 people. They practice the whole year to perform in the summer festival,” said Daisuke Kishi, the leader of Muso Ren.

Each Ren group has its characteristics. They include regular participants, employees of certain company, visitors and special performers from abroad.

“This is my first time, really great, really love it. It’s fantastic,” said a participant.

“I think everyone is just gathering on the streets, having fun and just dancing. Everybody is care free, it’s just having fun. That’s the biggest thing,” added another participant.

Many foreign performers and dance teachers have specially come to Japan to participate in the event.

“It is amazing, Awa Odori is amazing. The energy is great. Everyone is very supportive and energetic, so it’s perfect!” said a first-time participant.

Hideaki Okajima, the chairman of Tokushima Prefecture Awa Dance Association, has 54 years experience in performing Awa dance.

Awa Odori has double beat rhythm, which I think is easy to stat for everyone. I hope many foreigners visit Tokushima Prefecture to perform Awa Dance and spread it all over the world,” he said.

Yokohama city also hosted a massive dance festival in August.

A large number of people from across the world visited Yokohama town area to dance with popular animation character “Pikachu”.

Junichi Yamagiwa, Manager, Event Planning, Pokemon Communications Company, said the company holds many small and big events.

“It aims to provide enjoyment and surprise. This event is held in the open area to give a surprise. Yokohama city is neat and clean. We want that visiting kids and fans of Pokemon enjoy the dancing event,” said Yamagiwa.

“After consultation to Yokohama city, this event was realized. We do not intend to hold the event only for showing or inviting. We expect participation and enjoyment of the event. So, we produced Pikachu Dance to enjoy in Yokohama town,” Yamagiwa added.

Despite scorching heat, a large number of people gathered to enjoy dancing at “red brick storehouse” area.

“Participating in such a big scale dance event is my first experience. We really enjoyed. The mix of animation content in the backdrop of historical town is a good promotion method,” said a Chinese visitor.

Dance festivals in Yokohama will continue till October. (ANI)