If you are in Tokyo or neighboring Saitama prefecture this weekend the best way to spend it is of course to visit the massive Kawagoe Festival. A huge two day festival in the city nicknamed “Koedo” (Little Edo) for its many Edo period buildings and streets still remaining. The festival is known for its many dashi, mobile platforms each representing one of the neighborhoods in the city, paid for and operated by the towns people themselves. The weather is usually pretty good this time of the year but this weekend has seen nothing but rain and it was pouring when I visited Kawagoe yesterday. I took these photos of on dashi maneuvering through the narrow streets next to Kawagoeshi station, covered in plastic sheeting and pulled by rain coat wearing townspeople. The Tokyo and Kanto areas are usually blessed with fantastic weather most of the year so being outside shooting…
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Passing through Shinjuku station the other day I saw this cake shop, Maplies Cake, where they had some interesting cakes on sale, made up to look almost exactly like bowls of ramen, plates of gyoza and even some tenshinhan. I am lucky to even have noticed the sign!「実はこれ、ケーキです。」I did not get any close ups of the real things as I felt it would have been a little bit rude to shoot and run! Still if you are interested, go check them out for yourself. You can just go to the little underground square between Marunouchi line, Toei Oedo line and the JR lines. Let us know how they taste!
Last night was the first of the three day long Oeshiki ceremony at Tokyo’s Ikegami Honmonji temple. The history behind this unique and rare buddhist festival is complicated but I did my best to explain it a little in this post from last year. The first night is merely a warm up, lots of people still turn up and the yatai (street vendors) are out in force! Most teams are busy preparing for the coming two days of dancing, chanting and manhandling the huge matoi poles through the streets of Ikegami. I caught one group practicing right next to the pagoda at the temple, but a few youth groups were out to give the coming generation a chance to get some live practice! Some of these matoi poles can be very heavy, I have heard of some that were as heavy as 80kg but no one can handle something like…
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