Summer Matsuris in Tokyo

This is Japan at its finest, in summer Matsuri season. August is matsuri month, there are thousands of matsuri's in Japan in august, and hundreds in Tokyo at least. It is at these festivals that you see how rich Japanese culture is, well at least traditional culture. For me as an american and an artist these festivals are awesome and at the top of the list of why Japan is great because they are so different from America. Everyone is well behaved and polite and in good spirits. It helps that Tokyo is super clean to begin with so the setting is enjoyable vs. piles of garbage everywhere

First up, the Awa Odori Matsuri in Shimokitazawa, one of the cool areas in the west of tokyo. This is the signature Awa Odori outfit including the half moon straw hat that the women wear.

they wear "Geta" sandals too. they basically are on the front balls of their feet the whole time. see how the sandals are tipped forward instead of the two plates resting evenly on the ground.

lots of kids of all ages get in there too. yes there a a lot of cute little tykes that are all starry eyed and don't know what their doing and its super cute.

the energy is infectious, most dancers have smiles on their faces. its a beautiful thing.

i'm not gonna lie, i think these awa odori outfits are kinda sexy for some reason.

at the end of this matsuri all the different dance groups had their own separate blowout jam sessions where the crowd could get in and dance after they did their thing. there were something like 12 groups who went around the streets of shimokitazawa for 2 hrs and you could catch them here and there. it was super sweaty time. add rapid drum beats and jumping up and down in a tight crowd and you have super duper sweaty time. Anyway it was O-some

BBQ at the tamagawa river south of tokyo. its about 20 min from shibuya. why didn't our school have their bbq there? why did they have it at 10 am and 1.5 hrs away from tokyo? here we are at 10 am in sangenjaya buying stuff for the BBQ. thats shintaro and misa.

super hot. thank god there were those two bridges. at our school's bbq there was nothing, no shade so it was horrible.

the obligatory and annual trying to get the charcoal lit battle.

this ignition charcoal is what they use. americans dont use that do they?

too cool. ai, marco, and misa

i am always amazed how civilized this country is. there was lots of drinking yet no fights or trouble of any kind, it seems that at these kind of outings, and festivals and such that its just good times and good vibes, which i can dig.

down by the river to throw some rocks. look its johnny ribeiro

the impeccably, unbelievably clean subway tracks.

after the BBQ and baking in the sun all day we went to the Azabu Juban matsuri which is near my house. it was huge and super packed. in the center of all that its hotter than the noonday sun. i was at my sweatiest for the whole day in the center of all that mess. i don't think i would go again its just too packed and too hot.

I had a Jaga buta, which is just a steamed potato broken open and you slather it with tons and tons of butter from the huge butter bins. you can throw some kind of lil' fish on there and some other crap too. Marco's new roomate ate one of these fish on a stick. there was tons of yummy food here