I've heard of Bon Odori festival (盆踊り) back in Malaysia, it's been held annually in Shah Alam and Penang but due to the distance and crowd I've never made it anyway. Saturday was the first time I join the Bon Odori Festival in Japan, which gives me quite another fresh taste of the Japanese culture.
The notice pasted on the hostel's notice board.
The location of the festival is not so far away from my hostel, and given that the school will cover all the expenses (which includes transport fee, entrance fee, and loaned yukata), so I happily join fellow schoolmates for the Bon Odori Festival.
We headed there around 3:30pm with a few fellow hostelmates and the hostel's person-in-charge, Ms Tobinai.
Took Toden line which cost 160 yen per way (regardless of location) and reached the location around 4pm.
Registered ourselves and met with the other schoolmates there.
OK, pictures time....
Inside the changing room where the staffs help us to put on yukata the proper way.
Jackson & Kelvin.
Cong Jie, me & Jackson.
The main stage.
Practising one of the dance moves.
Jackson being interviewed by the local broadcaster?
Gorgeous Cai Hong showing off the yukata.
Guy's yukata is not as fancy as the ladies'.
LOL these guys....
The few food stalls selling snacks instead of the usual Matsuri foods. They're still preparing when I took this pic though.
Take one and take two!
My yukata is too short, or maybe I'm too tall? LOL....
Me & Cong Jie posing, heh.
An extra "pops in".
Gathering outside waiting for the official opening speech.
The VIPs of the Arakawa district area.
If you may noticed, on the stage there're people in light-blue yukata which are the veteran performers who taught us how to dance.
To give you a brief idea how's the dance, here's a vid. lol.... bunch of noobs dancing around. :P
Well basically we're dancing and moving in anti-clockwise direction around the field with the songs playing. Some might get bored after danced for awhile, but it's fun when you dance together with many people.
Later we rested awhile and having some breaks for the next round.
Me and Kelvin, with my "trademark" :D lol.
Max taking his own sweet time to take pic with the girls.
Later there were taiko drums performances.
The taiko drum performers were kinda cool but I still think that our 二十四节令鼓 sounded more intimidating and impressive. :P
Later we had our chance to try out the taiko for ourselves.
Me posing with the taiko drum lol.
Taiko drum is a simple instrument and doesn't need much time to catch the basics, but surely it needs a lot of training to master it and stamina to perform it at it's best.
The Bon Odori ended around 8pm. I certainly enjoyed it eventhough it's a small scale one.
It was a job well done by the organisers, gonna praise their professionalism in handling the event, flawless in almost everything (I actually don't see any problems at all!), truly what you would expected from the Japanese.