Sunday, 30 August 2009

Koenji Awaodori 2009

Another year of Koenji festival done with.
I was armed with my camera gear, this year.
Previous years I've had a point and shoot camera, but this year I had my trusty Pentax K10 and a few lenses.
I was eager.
Saturday didn't go according to plan, for photography anyway.
Didn't arrive in Koenji til 7pm - after work.
Came down with a few mates and it was already underway.
The crowds were chaotic, and quite frenzied. Fantastic.
The actual festival runs from 6-9pm.
Food had to wait, but the liquor was already flowing.
Well, the crowds were a little off-putting. It was impossible to find a clear spot to take pictures.
We, that is myself and 2 mates, heading into the back streets with about only 30 minutes remaining.
Pulled off some shots.
It was good enough.
Met up with another mate and her boyfriend, then some more mates.
We were about 7 strong by this time.
As the festival came to an end on Saturday, the streets were littered with drunks.
Some other people latched on to the group and at various times through the night, we were averaging 10 people.
Some "new mates" would go, only to be replaced by some other random strangers.
Quite international: Japan, Sweden, Australia, US, NZ and England.
Made for a good night.
It was a typical hot Tokyo night and street drinking was the cheapest and best option when the party on someones rooftop went pear-shaped.
Aaaah, that'll be what happens when you meet strangers that invite a group of people back to a "party" and rooftop that aren't theirs.
Morning came and we made our ways home.

Sunday, met up with some other mates who are quite serious about their photography.
I got some good shots. At least I think so.
I am satisfied with some of them.
It pissed down from about 6:30, heavily.
People say it rains a lot back home in England.
Yeah, it does, but when it rains in Japan, it's relentless.
It rained heavily for last years festival.
The rain didn't spoil the fun, though.

I'll post some pics later.
I also got some pics of mates and people I met on the night that 'll put up...just for the sake of the memory of a good night.

2 comments:

onlyintokyo said...

Yea, great great weekend despite Japanese beer giving me the worst hangovers I have ever had. I went Friday night, 2 hours on Saturday and 10 minutes on Sunday and then to Dynamo. It was my first Awa Odori and I will definitely be going again. A manic atmosphere I have never experienced before. The crowd was very pushy where I was on Saturday so I ended right in the front row and got some shots. I will throw them up this week. I look forward to seeing your photos.

Mickey said...

Always a good weekend.
It was my third, and perhaps the best so far.
Don't really commit myself to other festivals, apart from this one.
The close-knit community in Koenji makes all the difference.